White

girl-in-a-white-dress- Lucian Freud1947
Then
by Lynn White

She’s standing still
pale as England,
slim and serious
as I stood
then.
Hair chopped
above her shoulders
with a little curl allowed
as mine was
then.
A little curl allowed,
in memory of its ringlets
earlier than
then.
Then it grew longer
and we pulled it straight.
So now, it’s more like it was
before then.
Before then,
when
it was longer still,
and ironed straight
under thick brown paper.
It had been shorter still before
then,
its feminine length curtailed, but
with a little curl allowed,
a reminder of its ringlets earlier than
then.
Of its earlier hated ringlets
grown from loose curls.
Ringlets cut
when
father died.
Not until
then.

PAINTING: “Woman in a White Dress” by Lucien Freud (1947).

PHOTOGRAPH: The author, around 1970.

white1

ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places, and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy, and reality. Her poem “A Rose For Gaza” was shortlisted for the Theatre Cloud “War Poetry for Today” competition 2014 and has since been published in several journals and anthologies. Poems have also recently been included in Harbinger Asylum’s Literary Journal and A Moment To Live By anthology, Stacey Savage’s We Are Poetry: An Anthology of Love Poems, ITWOW, She Did It Anyway, Community Arts Ink’s Reclaiming Our Voices, The Border Crossed Us, and a number of online and print journals. Visit her on facebook.