The Tiny Tartan Skirt


Postage stamp of Newfoundland, 1928. Steamship...

I visited Shamrock City for the umpteenth time

and noticed the servers wearing my old tartan skirt

the cloth slight against their tiny hips and legs

bringing back memories of the years of wearing the mini skirts

with the nuns breathing down our necks each day of high school

checking to see if the length needed attention

Often the skirts would be coupled with yellow shirts

or tartan vests and a yellow turtleneck

more clothes at the top than at the bottom

with penny loafers on my feet and nylons on my legs

the fashionable fare of our lives at St. Francis Xavier in Deer Lake

hoping that lustful young men could contain their desires

leaving us to admire ourselves in mirrors and before the watchful eyes

The past is now the present and these young girls are hoping for tips

and the owners are feeling proud of their heritage having their workers so dressed

images of a slim me smiling as I comb my long hair getting ready for the day

walking quickly towards my future with fashionable or skimpy clothing

wondering who is their right mind had decided on Newfoundland tartan

for I’m sure the Presentation Sisters did not come up with the mini skirt

making their days miserable having to keep them measured to help us keep our chastity

with the smirks of all the brazen lot of us lined up and a yard stick not far from our knees

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