Poetry by Sarah Taylor-Foltz :Madwoman in the Attic- Chloe and Olivia
Madwoman in the Attic- Chloe and Olivia
“‘Chloe liked Olivia…’ Do not start. Do not blush. Let us admit in the privacy of our own society that sometimes women do like women…” –Virginia Woolf
A graveyard of verse
Resurrected from beneath a fainting couch.
An ecru wool sock
Under a heavy, flowered skirt
Struggled to hug the calf
Above a leather shoe.
A straw hat with a lilac ribbon
Carelessly left in the foyer.
A hand wrapped round a forcibly slimmed waist.
Hushed, shimmering voices
“What if the maid sees?”
She did, her hard mouth pursed in disapproval.
Letters and dainty gifts:
A bracelet here, a pressed flower there.
The loosening of stays,
The sweetest tea, taken in the garden, among the lilies
A hairpin left in the grass
A small collection of Tennyson left open on the wicker table.
A doctor with round spectacles and a moustache
Clutching a small black handbag
And a copy of The Diseases of Women.
For Chloe, it was childbirth
For Olivia, it was sadness and then the attic
Two women sending clandestine messages
From separate windows.