A Watch Winding Down 1967

Oh yes, then I’ll wear my red dress
so we’ll look purposeful together
to people we might meet at the supermarket.

It’s important to present purpose
to present, to pretend to present purpose
to people at the supermarket so I’ll wear red
lipstick and stockings and a white purse.

It’s important to present purpose
purses present the pretense of purpose
the prefix of Mrs.

In dresses we’ll look purposeful together
we’ll wear red smiles and pearl necklaces
so they’ll see our purpose
purses filled with husbands’ money
our purpose at the supermarket
to present our purses and red dresses
red dresses, red dresses, from addresses
in suburbia we’ll present purpose.

Mrs. in dresses at the supermarket
mark it, mark it, on your calendar at two
and I’ll wear my red dress
so we’ll look purposeful together
to people we might meet at the supermarket.

It’s important to present purpose
white purses, red dresses, red dresses
we’ll leave from addresses in suburbia
at two o’clock in the afternoon
we’ll re-dress, redress, redress . . .

from “Liner Notes: Poems” by Jeffery Oliver. 2010.