151: The Fitting
by Edna St. Vincent Millay
The fitter said, “Madame, vous avez maigri,”
And pinched together a handful of skirt at my hip.
“Tant mieux,” I said, and looked away slowly, and took my
Softly between my teeth.
Out came the seam, and was pinned together in another
She knelt before me, a hardworking woman with a familiar
and unknown face,
Dressed in linty black, very tight in the arm’s-eye and smell-
ing of sweat.
She rose, lifting my arm, and set her cold shears against
Her knuckles gouged my breast. My drooped eyes lifted
to my guarded eyes in the glass, and glanced away as
from someone they had never met.
“Ah, que madame a maigri!” cried the vendeuse, coming in
with dresses over her arm.
“C’est la chaleur,” I said, looking out into the sunny tops of
the horse-chestnuts—and indeed it was very warm.
I stood for a long time so, looking out into the afternoon,
thinking of the evening and you…
"The Fitting" by Edna St. Vincent Millay. Used by permission of The Edna St. Vincent Millay Society