How to Dress
“A lady’s dress is inconvenient for mountaineering.” – Mrs Henry Warwick Cole, 1859
Your fashionable shoes
might be the death of you.
Your hemline catches stones
and sends them plummeting.
Below the col, set down your parasol,
put on the mountain’s suit –
your forearms gloved with permafrost,
your fingers lichen-light,
your mouth becoming fissured
and your ankles malachite.
Slip on a jacket made of shale,
cold stockings from a forded stream.
Take off the clothes they want
to keep you in. The shadow of the hill
undresses you. The sky
will be your broad-brimmed hat.