Sunday, December 6, 2009

The Corset by Joanna Grant, Roswell, Georgia, 1955

I am the one who knows
What needs to be done, I

Knew from the start that this day
Would come and find me climbing

The ladder to the attic where the brass-bound trunk
With its rivets, its hasps

Its mothballs, its sachets keep away
The yellowing, the stains and the tears

Of long, long wear. When I held it up
She cried. Little fool, as if she

Did not know herself. What she needs
Is bone, pounds of pressure to the inch,

Tight lacing, a knee in the back,
White knuckles on the bedrail.

Girls, I tell her, should only seem soft,
Should only look like they bend.

This is what you will not understand,
I tell this jelly, this fat crybaby girl.

Love, the real kind, is always a squeezing
A choking off all that offends.

No comments:

Post a Comment