David Gilbey




Hat Trick


David Gilbey

Under Perspex they are stuffed exotic animals
a Victorian birds and  butterflies collection
ravenous delicacy of bronzed pheasant wings,
more tropical than hibiscus – opening, beckoning –
O take me!

This fantasy taxidermy is lingerie for head and face
displaying, concealing nude mannequin necks
each one a small poem, with fascinator epigraph.
Look! This one’s fishnet swirls, a G-string tease;
these pink rosettes in a nest of black feathers want me to dance
this pillbox and that spotted broad brim call me to the races
this red and black number wants me in New York –
you can leave your hat on!
Which one will I mistake my wife for?

At the final conference dinner
the milliners parade their works
and dance with each other on the small square floor
moving with contained abandon
their bodies playing with fabrics
and their own gaze
stitched into the chiffon of their rhythms…..




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