The phrases that start these walking poems sometimes well up from unexpected sources. I was buttoning my coat as I crossed a plaza and recalled my mother teaching me to count the buttons on my shirt with the verse “Tinker, taylor, soldier, sailor….” and somehow that segued into the image of a Victorian parent planning her children’s future. I guess I was having a Jane Austen moment.
Women’s lives were restricted but their minds were not.
One son to the army
and one son to the church.
Three daughters to be married off,
or else left in the lurch
where they will turn
a ghostly shade of gray.
Caring for the elderly,
looking forward to the day
the Vicar comes to bide awhile,
for then, … they’ll have a drink!
It’s only sherry, but it will serve
to turn their gray cheeks pink.
Because their corsets are so tight
convention’s laws will not be torn,
but in the attic, late at night,
what novels may be born!
Published by poolsidelaureate
That was then. This is now. Write wherever you are.
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