Silk

silken kneecaps
blue garters
pink garters
all through the depression
better than the
N.R.A.
the W.P.A
silken legs for
Cagney and Gable and
all the boys in the neighborhood.
now that pantyhose is worn
a man no longer gets to watch
a strange woman on the street
with her fine legs
pulling her stockings up
stretching that silk over the
kneecaps
with just a glimpse of white flesh
and pink petticoat…
I suppose it’s best, though, that
women be comfortable.
I wouldn’t like to go around pulling
my stockings up
continually, yet
some of us who remember
are still wistful about that era
dreaming of those legs of the
1930’s

legs no longer beautiful now
or
legs that are dead
simply bone
but legs we remember the other
way
those legs that kept the silkworms
busy
legs that were for our fathers
our uncles
legs for Cagney and Gable and
all the boys in the neighborhood.