Utilitarian Fashion Apparel by Ellie Csepregi

Poem title: Utilitarian Fashion Apparel poet name: Ellie Csepregi Poem begins: The sequins you threw out, still float along the Danube River.  Woven themselves along the shoreline into organza, cotton,  taffeta, brocade, corduroy, even heavy felt. Deep into the thick fibre helmets you designed for workers.  Protective gear that made you famous before the uprising.  Later, the clear vinyl aprons you created and sold to  the other displaced women seeking normalcy on Pier 21.  I misunderstood. Thought you made opera hats for the fancy, perky, ladies  of Budapest society. You were always so dainty in your flight.  You laughed and said, “You think I wanted to go insane with all that glue and those  fake gems sticking to their heads?”  “Listen, my son!” (Always called me son, when she was serious and wanted to make  herself known.) “I made workers hats. Two pieces of felt and a strong seam down the  middle. With ear flaps. Simple. For everyone.”  I feel weak and heavy with your story - like the pulling of roots. Not up rooting - but a down rooting. A shift.  Now, worlds rerouted because of a minuscule virocell - not even a glimmer.  My sisters and I imagine you still alive calling masks and lockdown such stupidity -  nonsense. “Ilyen hulyeseg!”  Yet - when you were alone with misery and dark memories - you gathered silver and golden remnants, sewed sparkly lounge-wear. To cheer up.  At 84, auditioned for the Dragon’s Den - lined up on a cold Toronto street in December. Reminded you of times everyone waited for butter.  Wanted to pitch more protective gear for truckers who rest their left arms on the doors of sixteen wheelers - the essential long haul. Slip-on sleeves that will save skin from the  angry burn of the sun.  On second thought, you would not have rebelled against the masks.  In fact, perhaps invented the most glorious garment.  With secure fashionable pockets for sanitizers, tap cards. Jewelled and discreet latches to hold triple layered matching masks.  Along with light chiffon type overcoats of: Quick drying polyester blends.  Easily removed and sanitized.  Flexible attire for all silhouettes.  Shields for softened bodies. Reasonably priced.  End of poem.  Credits: Copyright © Ellie Csepregi  Ellie Csepregi is an internationally published poet whose work appears in literary journals and anthologies including: Rampike, Ash - Oxford University Press, Black Moss Press, Blue Skies, Cranberry Tree Press, Spittoon, Windsor Review, the Beijinger. She has been a cultural worker and supporter of the arts since the early 1970s.  Her longer poems have also been written into theatrical pieces and performed by TheatreSpace in Vancouver. Her first collection, ‘Tiers: What We Do with all that Cake’ was published by Cranberry Tree Press for December 2020.  She has mentored and encouraged young voices and international authors to express themselves through creative writing. Globally Ms. Csepregi continues to be a contributing member of the Spittoon@Chengdu Arts Collective and is a former member of various committees.  She is honoured to be included in Poetry Pause.