No old-time bonnets with eyelet trim;
this baby wasn't born yesteryear.
No plastic shoes. We eschew
things that scratch / bind / itch.
Ditto Velcro and rompers with
buttons up the back, sans front closures.
Please nothing with cutesy
embroidered pseudo-French expressions
or amicable-looking snails
slithering amongst pastel-toned garden tools.
Nothing advertising an institution.
No fossil-fuel-eating-vehicle motifs.
Anything laden with thwarted dreams
(however bright, however lovely)
will be promptly set free to the Goodwill.
No mohair shrugs, pleather
skirts, animal prints,
rhinestones, fun-fur, pinstripes, no hint
of a life wasted or scripted.
Nothing too girl, nothing too boy.
Nothing redolent of upper crust.
Nothing sad, ugly, tired, prone to stain.
Nothing that reminds us of pain.
By Susan Elmslie, from The Best Canadian Poetry in English 2015
(ed. Jacob McArthur Mooney, Tightrope, 2015)