Bad Taste

In her kia-ora taffeta, and crochet
flares remaindered by Sue Ryder,
she looks like a dinner dogs would
cross graveyards to avoid. So is she
dolled up to embellish a parade?
Or is the world unable to afford her?

Some bangles hoop-la each bare arm:
lime-green, they rattle the midday
into contention. Her hats are helmets.
Lipstick is applied in a quick squirm
round the mouth. Her eyelids are pelmets
where tassels dangle, golden and gaudy.

But Himmler's lips were starched and creased,
and the man who ate the liver cut
raw from Lon Nil was a stickler for dress.
The Tonton Macoute invariably boast
a nice line in laundry. And, en masse,
Red Guards wore a sort of collective suit.

Her hair is reddled. Her earrings hang
like tiny diamond nooses. On the beach
her towelling is in mint choc chip.
All flounce and flower. In the spring
of her lemon stilettoes, there is goosestep:
makes you hold your breath and retch.

From Robinson Crusoe's Bank Holiday Monday