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Manes to Masques

You know that mane draped old mare’s neck,

a Charleston shawl with tassel strings,

long earrings like her swinging fringe,

the twenties style on eighty years.

The young embarrassed by her style,

Quixotic, in her dreamy way,

poor sighted, eccentricity,

exotic dancer prancing free,

recalling balls, masques of the past.

Would she be harem sherbet girl,

for navel bauble belly dance,

or Cleopatra in a trance -

more spirit of the dead on floor?

Those ancient rites she celebrates

and fools herself as mask has slipped.

Why does great aunt unsettle me,

her vice an ad for agony,

column inches for her type?

Or is it I discomfit her,

kept under wraps for far too long,

stymied, sixties, glamour phase,

post-war coupons, making do,

flibbertigibbet, always ‘no’,

given wing - least taking it.

The caged bird flying free at last?

A wrinkle found, changed status quo.

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