POETS & FISHNETS
Her stockings are torn but she is beautiful
I’m telling my new-found friend Fiona
that in your forties you figure out things
that’ll save your life. My girlfriends all must own a
wicked pair of pumps and fishnet stockings,
for example. Superficial? Au contraire.
I want to know a woman friend’s been down
some scary alleys too, come up for air
and seen the beauty in the heart’s wild pound.
These are the women who would never shake
their heads as you divulge your reddest shame;
they’d be the ones to join you at the stake
while prune-lipped puritans kindled the flame.
So I was happy when we three girl poets,
upon confiding deepest darkest things
the night before, all showed up in our fishnets
and cockroach-killer heels for our reading.
And peeking through the net, our crimson nails,
the way we hide and show ourselves in poems.
So, like the wily girl in that old folktale,
we too arrive “not naked and not clothed.”