My Colour is Red
[a poem by ~burning woman~ ]
As far as I could remember, we’d never met.
He, however, in convincing me that we had,
Made a case which went rather easily in his favour.
I spent a night in his ostentatiously big red bed,
That wasn’t quite what I’d had in mind.
Now I’m staring at my red dress on the floor.
He’d invited me out, for a drink he said.
That led to another place, for a dance he said,
Come, let me experience my lady in red.
It’s not that I mind, oh, not at all, not really.
He was all quite the gentleman, helpful certainly,
And a lot more besides, what I remember: No, it isn’t him.
It’s the casual me I’m beginning to wonder about:
Am I actively looking for that quasi-perfect partner,
Or am I really just a two-step from the sidewalk slut?
They say dreaded middle age speeds up the meter
And having been taxied around the block a few times
You do get to be a whole lot less choosy.
Truth be told I’ve never been terribly choosy;
I’ve been surrounded with too many good times
For life to pass me by and forget me.
The thing is though, good times are fine
But surely there’s more to life than a red dress
And a lover very, very good at stringing lies.
He said he’ll call me again, next weekend he said.
Do I change my colour to disappoint him
Or do I pretend an emergency and leave town?
(That way I can also believe he’ll miss me
when I don’t answer the phone
even knowing he’d no intention of calling back.)
I don’t worry, I’m not over the hill, not yet,
And I’ve a lifetime of experience being walked out on:
Quick with the shrug, not so quick with the tears.
I suppose it’s true that even red does fade:
Wear something past it’s prime, it goes threadbare
But I can always, always, buy a new red dress.
(And I can always, always, continue to pretend:
that’s my ace in the hole: the make-over make-believe:
how hard can it be? I don’t even need the pretend part.)