Poetry and Poetics
A finger cup tucked in between the breasts
and filled with water (so the lice would drown)
befitted Madame, who was gently dressed
in undergarments fortified with bone.
If Madame felt a house had crossed the line
that girded the Bastille of powdered hair,
her hand descended like a guillotine
on an aristo émigré, pied-à-terre.
Lud, it's topsy-turvy when an insect
thinks it deserves to circulate abroad—
Pretensions must be checked,
and Madame, most punishingly endowed,
dispatches all who leave the wig. The nits
thus live to die between mi'lady's tits.
© by Rhoda Janzen
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