Julia Griffin


Peterman Girl*

Although I am nearly fifty-five
And look about twice my age,
I feel I’m finally coming alive
As I scour each Peterman page.
O who’d have thought there’d be such romance,
Such a dazzling red alert,
In a pair of pleat-front wide-leg pants
And a high-neck stretch-satin shirt?
A woman steps onto a balcony.
All Paris comes to a pause.
Is she Hollywood royalty?
A moment before the applause,
You recognize that special hush
Before your last waltz with the Earl:
Your smitten co-star is starting to blush.
It’s you. You’re a Peterman Girl.
It’s not that I’m mad about T-strap shoes;
Flared pants don’t look so exciting;
But the kind of flair I can’t refuse
Is the kind you find in the writing,
And the charm of the Peterman Manual
Was never those hand drawn pics,
Or even really the clothes at all,
But the wonderful story mix.
If I buy this fully-lined lace peignoir,
Will it grant my francophone dreams?
Will I truly find I’m in Bogart’s car
If I wear these vertical seams?
She’s enjoying a slow, warm Texan breeze.
The girl Rome couldn’t forget.
The hem just brushes her well-tanned knees.
“My Gigi!” cries old Colette.
O I’m no debutante, it’s true;
I’m not on a high school course;
I’m more mature than an ingénue;
But time is a liquid resource,
And I think I’d fit in the Margaret Set:
I like a good taffeta swirl;
It’s me, it’s me! I’m a Peterman Pet,
An All-Time Peterman Girl.

*Containing several lines and phrases from a recent J. Peterman Owner’s Manual—God bless it. 

In MEmoriam

I dreamed that Shakespeare came to my interment,
And wiped his welling tears upon his ruff.
Milton, beside him, fought his inner ferment:
Rosy his eye, although his voice was gruff.
Homer and Virgil kept a certain distance,
Lamenting in an accent none could trace;
Dante, who scorned interpreter’s assistance,
Hiccupped what sounded like “a seventh place.”
Browning was keening, Jean Racine was raving;
Keats clung to Spenser, Auden leaned on Logue;
Stevie was waving (definitely waving);
Heaney’s black hankie sparked an instant vogue;
And still Bob Dylan raised his caterwaul—
Seemingly puzzled to be there at all.

Generous To A Fault

I’m generous to all of them, but if I had to choose,
My pets are Anger, Envy, Sloth, Profanity, and Booze.

Julia Griffin lives in the southeast of Georgia, USA, and/or the south-east of England. She is launching a campaign to have W.S. Gilbert canonized.