The Plaid Dress
Strong sun, that bleach The curtains of my room, can you not render Colourless this dress I wear?— This violent plaid Of purple angers and red shames; the yellow stripe Of thin but valid treacheries; the flashy green of kind deeds done Through indolence high judgments given here in haste; The recurring checker of the serious breach of taste? No more uncoloured than unmade, I fear, can be this garment that I may not doff; Confession does not strip it off, To send me homeward eased and bare; All through the formal, unoffending evening, under the clean Bright hair, Lining the subtle gown. . .it is not seen, But it is there.
Excerpted from Clotheslines: A Collection of Poetry & Art, edited by Stan Tymorek. Copyright © 2001. Published by Harry N. Abrams, Inc. All rights reserved.