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VRL Thonger

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I'll write a poem every day, might be tiny but it'll be complete.


Grab it by the handle and wrestle

it out of the attic. When did mine ever

contain suits? Never, with a single

exception: I had one trouser

suit, a present for my 14th birthday

tissue-paper packed in its own suitcase:

when I popped the catches, out jumped

a crocheted Biba confection in psychedelic

purple swirls, the hipster pants

flaring into bellbottoms, the tied top

ending just under my ribs with

flared arms belling out way beyond

my fingertips. I was uncertain about

what underwear to put on, having

only white but was entirely thrilled

with my mother, who'd thought of it

and my grandmother, who tolerated it

and my sister, who'd be too shy for it.

For several hours I wore the trouser

suit swankily around the house

and posed in front of my mother's

long wardrobe mirror with a floppy

hat and dark glasses, singing Hey Jude

and making peace signs. It so happened that

adolescence swarmed upon me that

very day as if it had been Pandora's

suitcase that turned out to be full of

purple stretch marks appearing on

suddenly tender breasts, white

underwear soaking in cold water

in every washbasin, aching guts

and stubbly dark regrowth on legs

so recently downy and now filled

with significance because of where

they led; the trouser suit was never worn

in the real world out there, too daunting

for the freshly careworn me; suit and case

were banished to the wardrobe shelf.

Now a suitable amount of time has passed

I'm all set to get out the terrifying

outfit and what the hell, wear it

with any underwear I damn well like

unless it's too small, in which case, into the fire.

Day 56 Suitcase

[I believe my mother braved Biba's shop on Kensington Church Street to buy this.]