katy’s scrubbing up

Poem #22 from The Book of Evenings

Back to: The Book of Evenings – Introduction


mama’s checking out the make-up
rummaging for things she hasn’t seen since
well
let’s say
they’ve been missing awhile
but she thinks she might know where to find them
they’ll be in katy’s room

katy’s scrubbing up tonight
glitter in her hair
she’s had the beauty parlour treatment
to look gorgeous
for the ball

cha cha cha

for dancing

fourteen years and six feet tall
slender as a model on the cat-walk
she’ll be black off the shoulder
pink in a shawl
a little colour on the cheeks
dark eye-liner
and yes
that’ll be the missing mascara

and the lipstick

those two will be gone awhile
it’s time for girl business
in the bedroom
but papa
have you charged the camera

because here she comes now
look at her would you
just look
we always knew
but
just look at her

strike a pose by the mantle shelf
underneath the painting we brought away
from grandma’s house
she might not approve of black
but she’d be just so proud of you
and happy

little brother please
remove yourself
this is not your picture
or your time
you’ll have to wait your turn

papa take katy now
it’s time she made her entrance

no
you won’t need to carry
the shotgun

she’ll be fine you know
she’s a big girl
still your baby
but she’ll be fine

he’ll be worried all night
fretting like a
well

like the father whose baby
is taking steps into the world
and away

nervous

keep him busy if you can
talk motor cars
help him do something with the radiator
or the carby
until one o’clock
or so

until she gets home


© Frank Prem 2003

The Book of Evenings Poem #23: towards kansas

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