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Mumsy
by Francine DuBois

You do so do, you do so do
All the time, Gucci mules
In which I have lived like toasty toes
For twenty-some years, rich and white,
Barely wanting to curse or make a roux.

Mumsy, I have had to praise you.
You lived before I had time-
Top-heavy, a Vitton bag full of class.
Graceful statue with one gray hair
Delicate as a spider's string

And a head in swirling society
Where it pours champagne over orange
In the bar off beautiful hotel lobbies.
I used to pray I could be you.
Oh, vous.

In the French tongue, in the Riveria town
Gilded up by the glory
Of royalty, royalty, royalty.
But the name of the town is infamous.
My Jewish friend

Says there are a dozen or two clones.
But I could always tell where you
Put your foot, your root,
I could always talk to you.
The tongue gleaned over pearly whites.

It glossed over petty bickering.
Moi, moi, moi, moi,
I could always speak.
I thought every French was you.
And the language glorious

A dessert, a dessert
Chuffing me off to chocolate heaven.
A queen to Paris, London, Tyrol.
I began to talk like a queen.
I think I may well be a queen.

The snows of the Coast, the clear ale of Boston
Are not very pure or true.
With my French ancestress and my good luck
And my trust fund and my trust fund
I may be a bit of a queen.

I have always been in admiration of you,
With your Concorde, your designer loo.
And your neat pillbox hat
And your Aryan eye, bright blue.
Stewardess, stewardess, O You -

Not God but a dollar sign
So big no sky could squeak through.
Every woman adores a Capitalist,
The paint on the face, the pretty
Pretty dress of a pretty like you.

You stand on the stairs, mumsy,
In the picture I have of you,
A drink in your hand instead of my own,
But no less a queen for that, no not
Any less a queen who

Bought my pretty pony when I was two.
I was ten when society dismissed you.
At twenty I tried to live
And give, give, give life back to you.
I thought even Vassar would do.

But they pulled you out of papers,
And they stuck me in your place,
And then I knew what to do:
I'd become a model of you,
A queen in black with a haute couture look

And a love of Versace and Vera Wang.
And I said I do, I do.
But mumsy, I'm not quite through.
The black telephone's still ringing
And your voice still echoes through.

If I've lived one life, I've lived two-
The debutante who said I was you
And mingled our bloods for a year,
Seven years, if you want to know.
Mumsy, are you proud now?

There's a mink on your shoulders
And the teahounds and cake-eaters always liked you.
They are dancing and clapping for you.
They always knew it was you.
Mumsy, mumsy, you well-bred queen, we're beaucoup.

***
Forgive me, Sylvia. (http://www.poets.org/poems/poems.cfm?prmID=1062)

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