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The Dainty Lily Bell

Text of Poem

She’s liberated, you know,
and the hell with all female bait
to hook the gasping male, yet her
dressing table shows the same display,
the brush and comb, several trifles
of lipstick, cologne, Chanel perfume,
powder, cold cream, bobby pins,
hairnet, eyeshade, scattered items
in familiar array. She sits there squinting
for blackheads, smoothing wrinkles,
fluffing her hair. She needs a
flower face to escape from
what’s below, the hairy, juicy part
where he thrusts and enters and makes her
sweat and moan … oh, for God’s sake
forget it, she tells herself. But she
notices her legs are nice, thighs a bit
overblown like a peony losing its petals.
She sits there painting lips, eyelids,
creaming her skin, a touch of scent,
hair set in waves, features animated,
(she bites her lips) almost pretty, she tries
to be dainty and fragrant as a lily bell
—who thinks of roots at work in the
dark earth!

First Line
She’s liberated, you know,
Original Pub Location
Original Publication Date
Original Citation
Planting Red Geraniums: Discovered Poems of James Hearst. Final Thursday Press, 2017. 24.
Complete Poems
Hearst Collections
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Permission to reproduce work from the James Hearst Papers has been granted by the Special Collections Department of the University of Iowa Libraries.

Poetic Form