Regular Poem: A Blue Scarf

30 Dec

I don’t remember how
I got the idea
to wear that blue scarf.

It wasn’t even
a scarf, really,
so much as a silky handkerchief–
navy blue with white trim
smelling of a beguiling and persistent and unfamiliar perfume–
a ten-by-ten square
of fabric,
ancient, no doubt, before it
happened into my possession.

I was nine-
ish,
and I wore it
as though my head would fall off
my shoulders if it weren’t
cinched tightly around my neck
in a jaunty knot
worn to the left.

I felt so
glamorous
in it.
I felt so
powerful
in it.

My mother wouldn’t let me wear it
anywhere real.
So
it remained a costume piece
in my gallery of fantastical plays:
the ones in which I
saved lost artifacts and belligerent damsels in distress
and shot communists on trains
and solved baffling mysteries
and led bands in parades.

My mother wouldn’t let me wear it
anywhere real
because
she said
it was too small.
She worried
it would suffocate me.

But nowhere did I do more daring deeds
that might jostle it into an accidental noose
than in my own backyard.

To this day
I question
her logic or her veracity.
I’m not sure which.

I don’t know why
I stopped
wearing it.
And
I don’t know where
it went.
I miss it–in those
strange moments
when I suddenly remember
it existed.

But I’m more into red
now, anyway.

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2 Responses to “Regular Poem: A Blue Scarf”

  1. silverscreenings 1 January 2014 at 12:01 PM #

    This is SO TRUE of a beloved childhood item. My mother had a short blonde wig that she wore in her wild pre-married days, and I wore that thing A LOT. But she would not let me wear it outside the house. Even though I found her old photo album and showed her pictures of her wearing it OUTSIDE HER HOUSE (at an Ides of March party – see what I mean about wild?) she would not relent. No matter, I could still be a spy or a movie star inside the house, but it would be so much more dramatic with the kids in the neighbourhood.

    • TheBestofAlexandra 1 January 2014 at 12:31 PM #

      I love your anecdote! Also, an Ides of March party?! I might need to have one of those!

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