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It was the red dress

I wanted to wear

with high wedged sandals

flanking slight slim ankles

like the curve of Venetian wine glass




In memory of Louisa

………and you were my golden girl like a painting on a Greek urn, I used to come back and find you asleep in my bed blonde hair on pillow clutching dreams like heroin.  We would stay up all night sharing poems listening to overhead flights of jumbo jets from Abyssinian desert. We took trains to the New forest and crept around your grandmother’s house hallucinating on large quantities of LSD. We sat hunched on kitchen ray burn watching the midnight creatures crawl across the floor, made wild dashes for the mirror as our twin faces turned to green beneath the twitching of the drug.  You were my echo on harsh Yorkshire moor where we splashed fat ponies across swollen streams following a mythical hunt which was always a field a hedge and a barbed wire fence away.  Your demented mother was never far behind urging us onward like the general of a foreign legion, we took it in turns to deal with her until she succumbed to Alzheimer’s and was sectioned, but that was later long after.  We’d met in a pretty Oxford cottage both our boyfriends’ best friends and maybe they preferred stroking each other to stroking us so we talked and talked. We shared everything but men, and your lightning mind twisted them in knots left you cold on a heap of depression sent you running again and again to the bottle.  Babies, mine at least, (you just had terminations,) babies pulled us apart I couldn’t hold you up any more, couldn’t keep healing the same scars, listen to the same stories. Bound by blood ties as no sisters ever were, did something snap in me when you jumped, blurred and drunken not even hitting the water but lying broken on the railway bridge below.  I’m still seeking miracles finding them in shafts of sunlight, children’s kisses but you were my golden girl.





It was your red dress

I wanted to wear

fluid on sun blond skin

shadows of an Oxford afternoon

and the insects rubbing.




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