The Silver Locket

She wore a silver locket every day
Evelyn the milliner’s daughter.
After we shopped for fabric at the General.
we often went next door
to look at hats and the milliner’s daughter.

A simple dress was what she wore–
quite plain, yet elegantly sewn.
She twisted and rolled her shiny brown hair,
and a special air enveloped the girl
whose engraved silver locket danced
and swirled on a sterling chain.

Everyone remarked that the milliner’s daughter,
never wore her mother’s hats;
adorned only by that rich brown hair
and her secret silver locket.

The milliner’s shop became a legacy
to our town. We, who’d worn those fashioned
for Easter, weddings, and all life’s
celebrations, were amazed
when her creations were shown far and wide;
prized by wealthy matrons all over the state.

Life and styles slowly changed;
hats and milliners faded from fashion.
After they moved, John at the General got mail
from Evelyn for a while

She lived in Paris,
she knew Braque
Fitzgerald,
Picasso,
Hemingway,
who molded her into their art.
Each enchanted by her,
and the mysterious silver locket.

© Gay Reiser Cannon * All Rights Reserved

 

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29 thoughts on “The Silver Locket

  1. love this…what a character you create in her…and how she touched so many….her fashions and then how she caught the eye of the artists as well…all because of the locket…and def makes me wonder at the locket and what it contained….

  2. Gay! I would love to curl up with this tale on a snowy afternoon. What a weave! In this day and age of instant gratification, how fitting that such a wonder tale of mystery and lore can be woven…this goes beyond poetry and into the true art of storytelling….quite simply fantastic!

  3. Texas girls always got around. Many stories in towns like Midland and Amarillo where dressmakers and milliners became famous, moved to New York, San Francisco and especially Paris. Even more the beauties – like Cole Porter’s wife, Linda or Holly Golightly in the short story of Breakfast at Tiffany’s who found adventure in those cities. I devised this story but it is born out of a long string of anecdotes I’ve heard over the years.

    • Now that I have the benefit of your comment, I know that Evelyn is a fictional character, but yes, I think every out of the way town has legendary figures like her, who went away to exotic places and lived romantic lives. (I can’t help but wonder how those famous figures you mentioned would depict Evelyn and her mysterious locket.)

      • Imagine a cubist “portrait” of Jerry Hall (smiles) – or Brett as a Texas girl in the Sun Also Rises, or a party girl (Zelda was from the South) in a Fitzgerald short story.

  4. This was really a fun poetic read! You could write a book using this character for sure, as I am sure she had innumerable adventures…with her silver locket!

  5. I love the mystery you weave with this girl and her locket…the variables of her life but the constancy of the little silver momento….Lovely poetry, Gay

  6. i love the details of her dress being elegantly sewn and how she fixed her hair… as with so many of your poems, there’s a lovely rhythm to this which, in my mind, accentuates her mysterious and sensual nature.

    love it, Gay!

  7. That really is a lovely piece Gay, you’ve got me wanting to know more about Evelyn, her secret silver locket and Texas girls in general!

  8. I loved the first stanza – it hit my deadpan funnybone and made me laugh, which pulled me into the poem. I also imagined that this might be a real person, someone we could go hunt for in other people’s art (and with a name like Evelyn, she would fit right in among artists and expats in Paris). I find it interesting that she made art (hats) and then became art, and maybe carries it with her in the locket; this thread helps hold the poem together along with the narrative.

  9. Interesting slice of social history, in that a hat or dress maker isn’t likely to come from the backstreets of the small towns anymore. Who even makes their own clothes now from the tissue shapes using their singer sewing machine!

  10. Storytelling with refrain–very interesting–the outer view, the mystery as life continues with changing times, and she moves on, the one known for her hair and her locket. What is the air that surrounds her? The mystery keeps her lonely in her town . . . keeps the town enthralled. The girl IS the Lock-it, something every town needs.

  11. I miss hats! Of course, I look like a mushroom under them, and loved the wide brim hat…LOL!

    You maintain the mystery in the locket…which intrigues….which is just good plain writing.

    I’ve not been really around, answering or reading, because when I read, I have to answer and with this fractured wrist (needing more work…) I can’t type. Oh misery.

    Hope you are now well, and back to your daily activity. Life is strange, neh?

    Hugs and Love,
    Jane

  12. Sometimes I wonder what happen to wearing hats. It seems now it’s reserved for Sunday church and even then it depends on wear you live.

    I do like the mystery of the the locket. A very sweet piece.

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