From the Boutique by Wayne Carr


(New Jersey)


While loitering near the door

to this boutique's

mystifying allure,

waiting for my daughter

and my wife,

their fingers itching

to explore

and add fresh

colours to their life

by thumbing through

the racks, the rails,

for tops and dresses

that might, just might

make them feel

again like princesses;

steeling myself

for the sighs, the wails

as hopes dashed,

expectation fails:


I love it,

but it's too long.

My colour, but

the cut's all wrong.

It's you, but

it looks too tight.

Yeah, makes me look

a frumpy fright!

And did you see that blouse?

The one in cream and pink.

Nice! Till I looked again

and saw the price.


Leaving, hope slumped,

dumped on the ground

and prompted, by the wooden floor;

my thoughts turned en plein air.


A tree, newly-planted or mature,

always knows what to wear.

Every one perfectly appointed,

accoutred and suited;

its high-end, haute couture,

suffices for the entire season.

Its own Yves Saint Laurent

or Alexander McQueen.

Beyond taste, beyond blame,

each one knows how

to clothe its mannequin frame.

Made to be seen,

it rises from the ground.

Even when aslant

or lolling by a wall

still erect, standing tall,

readying to spring on us,

sumptuously gowned.

Its folds

in fret-worked shadows,

greens and gold.


The finest collection

of them all

is in New England —

from Connecticut

up to Maine.

In a final sugar rush,

all the maples, every oak

before they start to strip and bare,

complicit in the Fall,

in one vast train,

exchange their tops

in uniform green

for something more bespoke.

They dye their dress

in resplendent red,

orange and yellow sheen,

each aerial head

a glistening coral

in a wonder bed:

a reposte to the failing sun

and old Winter's strickened light.

Poem by Wayne Carr (2019)

who is currently based in Leicester.