Sunday, October 5, 2014

Burlesque Stockings at the Episcopal Church [poem]

Burlesque Stockings at the Episcopal Church

It ain’t easy for a lapsed Baptist to pick up the liturgy.
First week, I tried to follow the leader, crossed
myself with the wrong hand, set the kneeler
down on my toe. Second week, I slurped the wine.

This week, the first snap of cold has come,
and ladies are covering themselves with cardigans,
lowering their hemlines, clomping in sturdier shoes.

I dug in the back of my top drawer this morning
like an archaeologist, sifting through thin sheets
of slips and stiff, wired brassieres,
searching for some semblance of decency –
opaque, control top, with reinforced crotch
seemed necessary.  Instead, I pulled up

flimsy, slinky stretches of fishnet and lace,
thigh highs and garters, with the clasps
dangling, the metal tinkling like the soft
giggles of embarrassed girls, show girls
like me, who love the steeple and the stage.


For those of you who know me personally and/or have been reading my blog for a while, this poem is no surprise (except for maybe the church part). For those of you who don't know me very well and/or found this poem through the 30/30 Project.....

Oh, how I wish this were one of those created-from-my-imagination poems. It's not.

Let me catch you up some.

I have, in fact, performed burlesque under the stage name "Miss Cheeky Boom."
I have, in fact, started attending an Episcopal church in recent weeks.
I did, in fact, cross myself with the wrong hand.
I also crawled across the kneeler at the front of the church because I thought I had kneeled in the wrong place for Communion. (That's not in the poem.)
I did slurp the wine.
I did wear burlesque stockings because I didn't have any others. Also, they had a run in them.

That's......pretty much the story.

And the poem.

This poem was written on October 5, 2014 as part of Tupelo Press's 30/30 Project.

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