The Poems

Ida Red

From the Summer, 2002, issue 

(No. 8)

The dress Bette Davis wore in Jezebel, dancing at the ball.

A rotary-dial phone in the window of a retro shop

curved handle and rounded base. I’ve been known

to cross the street to show friends.

My ruby-red duvet.

The balloon. A French film reminding me

of dark classrooms, flickering lights. When

there was safety in being lost.

Sneakers, several sizes too big, that Beth found.

We each wore one while painting our new place.

A sweater my mom bought on her honeymoon

and I misplaced somewhere along the way.

Another dress, one worn by Maureen Stapleton in Interiors, a movie

I remember in black and white, the red

a product of my imagination. Her personality, brash and vibrant,

a contrast to everyone else’s grey.

The colour of Eve’s apple. An easy one,

I’ll admit. But apples are my favourite fruit.

The strings on my banjo tattoo.

Georges de La Tour’s The Newborn Child. Brilliant red

lit by a shielded candle, that is anything but

flat paint on canvas.