White Gloves

by Sheryl Guterl

On Easter Sunday a young lady
was required to wear patent leather shoes,
Spring coat, ribboned straw hat,
and, always, white gloves.

Cloth seams between constrained fingers,
too stiff to bend, too awkward to hold,
sterilized ritual hand-shaking,
polite greetings and artificial smile.

No rambunctious behavior,
no harsh words or loud speech,
no references to trouble, or discord.
Only scrubbed lives were shown.

On Easter, chafed hands were hidden,
and dirty nails forbidden
by bleached, clean,
always white gloves.