Trevor Bailey: ‘The Yellow Glove’

The Yellow Glove
After the painting by William Dobell, 1940

It’s Delia Bertwistle sure enough.
I mean, recall the London sketch yourself:
see here, her little hat’s raked to the right,
and from the brim that ribbon points up bright,
clear eyes set honest-wide. The lipstick’s red,
of course. Rebellious? No, she’d dread
that word, though might just allow “blasé”,
or “insouciant” with time—and in her way.
She hardly rests there in that leather chair,
for she leans across its angles, with an air
of muted purpose pregnant in the tip
of that unlit cigarette awaiting lip
and match. (Some flame for her looming on
the left?) But the light that comes from beyond
her gaze marbling face and hand catches
too the yellow glove that rather matches
a lover’s touch upon a shapely thigh.
She calls upon a light from where secrets lie.

Trevor Bailey

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