You could never say
the age of Shame
and be certain

She works so hard

on heels
She brings in
cupcakes, spun

Her brow
quite unsurprised
in the full-length hallway mirror

Who can measure the vastness
of Her wardrobe;
the dimensions
of Her dressing room;
or count the gilded
products crammed on ensuite shelves?

Before sleek apparel, there’s neat
blotch-mute-powder / sweat-seals / tug-machines
chemicals / bleach / metal-sear discipline

with all that help, it takes
Shame ages
to erase creases
from skin, wrinkles off
dresses, fissures through
Her mind

mostly She misses
the events for which?

no matter

She says it’s nice
to still
be invited


Helen Thurloe


Helen Thurloe is a Sydney writer. Her poems have won national awards, and appear in several anthologies. Her first novel, Promising Azra, was published by Allen & Unwin in 2016, and shortlisted in the 2017 NSW Premier’s Literary Awards.

© 2018