Bette Hileman and Abigail Vaughan

Abigail Vaughan
Inspiration piece

By Bette Hileman

Stiff feathers
not quite real
in pale pastels
decorate hats
from the Forties.

Unbending, thick—
unlike bird feathers—
they circle crowns,
enclosing lives.

The hats, secured by sharp pins,
almost fall in spring wind,
as women file into church,
their waists, hips unyielding
pinched by tight girdles.

The sky holds dancing clouds.
But feathers don’t dance.
They are not wild or free
like deer who joyously chase
each other in breezy forests.

They are fastened to rich bonnets
by an unseen force
and rimmed by an echoing fence
of unyielding filigree.

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One Comment

  1. Posted March 15, 2014 at 9:37 am | #

    I like the play between the encircled feathers in the image and the constraints of fashion upon women in the poem. Wonderful pairing!