1938 Philco 4XX
A shapely lady in heels,
tucks her legs modestly under,
but still enough akimbo to evoke faint possibility.
Dress demurely covers her knees
but her fanny casts a shadow like a seahorse.
Light-headed, and no wonder,
all this squatting to tune the radio
perched hip-high on spindly Queen Anne legs--
for that matter, her own might soon give way
to make ready for some swooping by a handsome man
come to save, if not herself, then her dignity
so she might reclaim her proper station.
Instead, here comes one with Churchillian bearing
who looks as if he’ll never resume his position,
upright or otherwise, now that his trunk,
rendered nearly unsupportable,
has formed a permanent perpendicular
at the top of his legs.
His nose is firmly up against the dial as if to dare it
to remain distant and impossible to occupy
with the immobile and elephantine army
he’s turned out to be.
The news from Dover is no better.
And now the mistress of the house
gives it a whirl, her glasses perched on her tiny nose.
Though her rump, challenging gravity,
remains improbably in the air
like a crane left the night by workmen
--and this contraption delicately counter-balanced by her ample bust.
Those ankles are not to be taken lightly
though her feet have been poured into dancers shoes,
a final affectation from days
she’d rather not discuss, but would if asked.
The call letters she’s seeking
are from a faraway land and remain,
like the man she might have twirled with once on holiday,
so close at hand, but distant as a dream.
This poem first appeared in Verse-Virtual.
Alan Walowitz's poems can be found various places on the web and off. He’s a Contributing Editor at Verse-Virtual, an Online Community Journal of Poetry, and teaches at Manhattanville College in Purchase, NY and St. John’s University in Queens. Alan's chapbook, Exactly Like Love, is available from Osedax Press.
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