Other formats

    Adobe Portable Document Format file (facsimile images)   TEI XML file   ePub eBook file  


    mail icontwitter iconBlogspot iconrss icon

Collected Poems

Matchless Beauty

Matchless Beauty

'Bus, Otahuhu, 6 p.m., Wednesday, Young Lady in single seat, black dress, asked for match. If interested, write —.' — Advertisement in 'Personal' Column.

You travelled on the six o'clock, and rolled yourself a fag,
You licked the gum and stuck it down, then looked inside your bag
(Your eyes were crossed, your yellow hair hung downward like a thatch),
And then you lurched across the bus and asked me for a match.

I noted well your powdered chops, the hair upon your face,
The sag of sordid underwear, the fringe of grubby lace;
I saw the torn umbrella, and the bag that wouldn't latch;
I held my stomach, shut my eyes, and handed you a match.

I shudder still to think of you … I can't forget that face …
But will you take a job with us — just helping round the place?
Please tell me if you're interested — I ask it on my knees.
Oh, will you come and cook for us? Do answer quickly, Please!