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Poem of the Week - 'Havisham à la Mode' by Kate Noakes

Havisham à la Mode

No one has got it, so to satisfy my critics:
it is really all about the dress.
Few brides can wear theirs thirty years on
without stinking of cedar.

Theirs lie tissued like my untouched shoe,
but I can fasten pearl buttons
every day, if I choose.

No feeding family, no babies have pushed me
out of shape and it's surprising
how lasting wedding cake can be.

It's all about my silk-and-lace cocoon,
a second skin skimming my bones.
I love its yellowed ivory
resisting time and laundry for a look,
a shimmer in narrow light beams.

Here's a tip - stay out of the sun.
Shadow and a well-draped veil
show complexion best, will give you skin
pale and papery as moon moth.

I may have overdone this.
I don't look good naked.



Featured in A Mutual Friend, a collection of poems inspired by Charles Dickens, Kate Noakes has penned an alternate take on the character of Miss Havisham from Great Expectations. Finding the 'bright side' in Havisham's otherwise gloomy situation, Noakes has created a lightly sarcastic tone which puts a interesting spin on the story as we know it. 

Edited by Peter Robinson and published by Two Rivers Press, A Mutual Friend is available to buy on our website.

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