The woman sitting in an open car
and looking backwards glides past, bemused.
The bystander has a rose for Emily,
but she has been touched in another way:
become oh, so consumed by it all.
She had been well aware of the traffic
of women in built-up areas,
and had found all the commotion alarming
and devoid of decorum.
Whence the day
when ladies floated through front parlours
in black, shiny horse-drawn coaches, large hats
and emerald period dress, whilst engaged
in conversation animated if hushed?
But a remembrance of better days
and the effects of tight lacing meant
that the gift of gesture was not to be bestowed.
Rather, an aloofness and a turned cheek
and a rose left de-petalled and jilted
by the woman sitting in an open car
and looking backwards.