Stage front she sat, on dainty chair,|
three cans of silver spray on hair;
transformed from nineteen years to dame,
padded gown to fit the frame.
Black embossed with midnight blue,
period costume with bustle too;
attached to wrist, for that was the style,
as Britomart she could rarely smile.
Opening night at the City Hall,
she'd been nervous a little before her call.
The house was full, an ocean of faces;
curtains up, all the cast in their places.
Trevor Gamble, playing her son
was waiting at rear 'til applause was done.
She stood, intending to glide with grace;
but the bustle fell off...oh such disgrace!
Attached to her wrist the train was trailing.
She grabbed a prop; a balustrade railing,
steadied herself, gathered her wits,
the audience in hysterical fits.
She had studied her character
and the humour of Shaw,
knew she could fake it,
one try then no more.
In perfect accent she complained full voice
of her dressmaker's error in fabric choice.
Maintaining the character with total calm,
the rest of the play went off like a charm.
Major Barbara by Bernard Shaw,
performed as none had witnessed before.
How well I remember; because you see,
the dame with the bustle was little old me.
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