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Irrational Fashion

10th C

They must be petite

And make not a sound,

My satin-slippered feet,

Both broken and bound.

My face must be fair,

Though I’m naturally gold.

And I must grow my hair,

But I may not grow old.

15th C

Chopines so tall,

I totter and stomp,

Just to keep the world small,

While I look down with pomp.

For I cannot get dirt

On the edge of my dress,

When the state of my skirt

Is what shows that I’m best.

17th C

My hair, not my own,

Is only a wig.

It is so overblown,

For it has to be big.

To show off my riches,

I’ll keep it on, please.

Though it’s so thick it itches,

Infested with fleas.

Early 19thC

Clad in a corset,

I struggle to breathe.

Like a switched off faucet,

My lungs let naught leave.

Though weighed down by petticoats

That are held up by straps,

My feet must still float,

And my posture can’t lapse.

Late 19thC

I knock down a candle,

With a hoop skirt so wide,

That no-one can handle

The immediate tide

Of fires that sweep,

Up the fabric in flames,

While the steel rungs keep

Me trapped in door frames.

20th & 21st C

My clothes must be fitted

To make me look thin.

So pockets are limited,

And fit nothing in. Instead

I buy purses

To carry my things,

And hold back my curses

At zippers and strings.

I hope that more clothing

Will soon be designed,

With more than the one thing

Of beauty in mind.

We will not choose whether

To feel good or look nice,

But they’ll both come together,

And not at a price.

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Giovanni groggily sat up in his wheelchair. He had fallen asleep again. He gripped the inner wheel as he pushed himself along the sterile hallways. The hallways were so familiar they appeared even in


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