allison mcvety | in little black dresses
Poetry Ribbon

in little black dresses

You’ll find them in the changing rooms,
shucking off familiar things, stepping out
of marriages and motherhood and down
to smalls, the known particulars of pleats
and folds until the years have slipped away
like underskirts and they are girls and girls
not wanting to be thin, or young, or tall,
or someone else, but just to have their due.
Not stitched-up in emperors’ suits of clothes
but with new labels pressing at their necks,
in Selfridges they change. And pulled from rails,
the chance to wear their real lives for an hour
over lunch, to re-dress the short-term self
in LBDs, their cloth re-cut and spot-lit
in the cubicles of might-have-been,
clean lines now, in dresses that fit them well.

Commissioned by Selfridges to mark their centenary and published in Miming Happiness