I met Miles Franklin shopping for a blue dress.
Her snub-nose turned up at the pink and the green:
she wanted blue, only blue, the unclouded colour
of the Australian sky on a clear autumn day.
I followed her, unnoticed, into the change-room
and watched as she undid her nineteenth-century laces.
She threw away the corset her feminist friends decried;
slipped into a nylon jersey evening dress, electric blue
with matching feathers. The sweeping scarf
hanging from the halter-neck-line swirled and flirted
as she twirled, and rose into the air, like the riding crop
of Brent of Bin Bin, dancing over the plains of Brindabella.
© Julie Thorndyke
first published in Five Bells 2010