Friday, July 22, 2011

A poem for summer and my friend Jilline, who loved it. It's forthcoming in the new CavanKerry collection Same Old Story and has already appeared in the journal U.S. 1 Worksheets. It is highly appropriate that Jilline, the press, and the journal are (or were) 100 percent Jersey. Because so is this weather.

Bargain Shopper

Dawn Potter

I miss you, Jilline, though stuck in this frozen so-called spring

I don’t picture you regretting my grim haunts; you, the girl

Who adored high summer, sporting your cheap slinky cling-

Tight blouses, those cat-eye shades propped in your dyed curls,

Your pink-flowered skirts, and a pair of flapping tacky lamé slides

On your big sore feet. Your beau-idée of taste was a dollar sale

At Marshall’s, the two of us name-dropping Ruskin and Gide,

Stage-whispering, “There’s your boyfriend,” across the gaudy aisles

At first sight of every funny-looker we met: those goat-

Faced circus clowns, those clad-entirely-in-blue albinos—

What freaks wandered this earth! . . . and you, decked out

Like a discount drag queen, lovingly deriding my beige vinyl

Sandals half-mended with bread ties. Only your puff of frail hair

Mentioned you were dying. The freaks pretended not to stare.


Julia Munroe Martin said...


Maureen said...

This one creates pictures we've all seen. Fun!

Ruth said...

Love it!!! I have a friend like Jilline and I love her sense of "Hello World, Make of Me What You Will!"

Dawn Potter said...

I miss her more than I can say.

Pam said...

I had a friend just like this too. Some days it seems like I just lost her yesterday although in truth it was 9 years ago. She could always make me laugh and you brought back those great memories. Thanks, Dawn!

Carlene Gadapee said...

Wow. Was along for the goofiness, enjoying it, thinking what fun...then, I was appropriately gut-shot by the last couple of lines. Masterful.

I bow to your craftmanship.