There’s More Up Her Sleeve Than Her Elbow

Tweed and divination take up all her free time. She shadows
scoundrels and crooks at top speed, top down,
engine rumbling, wind ravishing
her pin-curled spun gold.
She’s not duped by the detours this time.
She won’t lose her shirt over this scoop.  She’s been up against it.
Deep in it
with the boys. She’s sleuthed out all of it–
heads shot off, counterfeit schemes,
smuggled tablets,
cons and cover-ups in Chinatown. Something else is driving
her mind set behind arched eyebrows and blue-black
pancake mascara.
Got her eyes on a new lead. Not the same old
double-cross racket at that track
in Jersey. Got a tip
about some shady masculinist macroeconomic construct
or some other such scam. She grows tomatoes in her dooryard,
raises chickens
in the back, buys her fruit local. She’s working
double-time, and not just because
hard work is its own reward.
She’s got ink in her blood. If only she were married.
She could sit down and, in her ever flowing, feather trimmed ethereal
house gown,
eat chocolates from the bowl next to the vase
full with roses–bought locally.
Languish. Alas, she is merely
engaged to Mr. McBride–who doesn’t bring home
his whole damn dollar. The lug. Our heroine buys her own
chocolates and bowl, roses
and vase, hairpins and gowns,
pancake mascara. This is Torchy Blane. There’s more up her sleeve
than her elbow–and it better be her 40 damn cents.