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Life Class

by Jo Reed

In this dress I will abseil down Everest,

tread my tightrope with a new dexterity

above the Tyne, spin on a pin with angels

amazed in the nave of Beverley Minster.

 

In this dress I’ll dance down red carpets

without leaving marks, face down the dog

barking black through night’s blanket,

then pillow my head in unbroken sleep.

 

In this dress, with promises I can keep,

I’ll lob secret messages all over the net,

deal daily with Talk Talk, and other things

sinister, eat caviar for breakfast, place bets

 

on that missing Minister of State, wassail

with a choir on the deck of Invincible

as she flags sad goodbyes, ship to shore;

eat oysters on Fridays, always ask for more.

 

I will finish poems, win prizes galore,

ignore the front cover of Grazia, where

they have a portrait of me – in this dress –

holding the Oscar for ‘Best Screenplay’.

 

In this dress, I’ll buy an old printing press,

wing-walk my Cessna on the way to Venice,

eat fritto misto overlooking the sea,

bombard men with trifle whenever I please.

 

 

 

from Life Class (£7.99, £2.99 Kindle)

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