Monday, September 5, 2011

Marianne's Consignment

Marianne is my bartender,

only the bar is a counter

in her consignment shop.

I arrive with no time,

tell her what it is I have not

been able to find. Summer clothes

with sleeves—and she agrees that all

the new dresses are designed with younger

women in mind. I tell her that I am nervous

about next week’s workshop, how amazing all

the teachers are. She laughs—If you didn’t have

anything to learn, we wouldn’t be spending all

that money on you to go there, now would we?

She slays me with the word “we.”

When other women arrive

in the bedroom- sized shop, strangers

become sisters, soliciting and dishing

advice. Marianne laughs, her eyebrows-up,

wide Irish laugh, I love my job, she says. She

says that often. As she gathers and transposes

our clothes, I wonder, does she know— that we

come here for her? For her wisdom and care?

Marianne might reveal some history—

Oh, that dress just came in today,

she might say. Doesn’t fit the gal

anymore; she hated to give it up.

I slip into the dressing room, out

of the clothes I was wearing, out

of the mood I dragged in, change

my costume, and it’s great–not new,

but reinvented, like jazz. I draw back

the curtain for a glance in the tall

wall mirror. I swear Marianne

is out there, waving a wand.


Lou Faber said...

Better with every reading.

Chris said...

Love this. We all could use a Marianne in our lives - someone who speaks and listens from the heart. Your poem left me pondering who is my Marianne.