Friday, 10 September 2021

A Crime of Passion

by Jane K. Kretschman

In Durban, South Africa, gangs of large women steal
clothes in small sizes. Using their heft to intimidate
staff, they stuff their bags with apparel too small for them.

What do Rubenesque rogues
do with skinny skirts, tops
no bigger than a washcloth,
dresses no wider than their
outstretched hands, too tight
for wide hips and big bellies?

Do they hide the garments
in the back of a closet, and—
after a few drinks—take them out
like letters from a lost lover?
Do these Brunhildas remember
before babies and menopause

how they could slip into a sheath
and strut their stuff?  The police
say greed motivates the thieves,
but that is not the case.
Like looters of a palace
after the deposed king flees, 

they take these symbols of power,
a taste of the good life seen in
department store windows. Maybe
they tear the clothes to rags, stealing
not to enjoy but to destroy.  At last
report, the women were still at large.

* * * * *

"A Crime of Passion" was previously published in Jane K. Kretschmann's chapbook, Imagining a Life, published by FootHills Publishing.

Jane K. Kretschmann lives in Piqua, Ohio, where she retired from the local community college. Her poetry has been published in print and online as well as broadcast on radio. Jane's current projects involve creating a readers' theatre script based on poems in her chapbook titled Lynching Alabama and writing a book for the New Testament, titled The Epistles of Lydia of Thyatira.

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