‘Three Girls’ by Helen Frame

Three Girls

after the BBC three-part drama series of the same name

Her skin is powdered moon
and her eyes slate roofs at dawn
and she’s free as a bike ride in Provence
and she’s fifteen like holidays in the sun
and bubble gum in pink and yellow wrappers
and she’s hitting puberty like cardamom
and pomegranate molasses
and she’s complex as smoked chipotle
and sharp like lemon-scented whiskey
and wise like sage and freshly crushed coriander
and she’s funny like falling on her back
and her hair is like cow parsley and wild garlic
a tangled halo on a spring day
and she’s carefree as a battered straw hat
and relaxed like an espadrille abandoned on a beach
and intense as a crimson paisley print on a summer dress
and delicate like a lace bodice
and stormy like bitumen smoke
and wilful like a barbed wire fence
and impulsive as a day trip
and resilient as suspension on a 2CV
and wild like an open-roofed car ride to nowhere
and her hands are slender like a plaster saint
and her neck is Modigliani,
and her feet are crossed like Madame Recamier
and her ear lobes are velveteen rabbit
and her teeth are porcelain peas in a row
and her smile is cinnamon gum
and her legs are Egon Schiele’s Green Stockings

And nine men like ravens
and she falters like a dark star
rises high like a lark

Helen Frame studied English and Art History at Leicester University, and Magazine Journalism at London College of Fashion. She has been a writer for fashion, art and music magazines. She moved from London eight years ago to live in Frome, Somerset, in a former clothier’s house built in 1720. She is a member of Trowbridge Stanza, and has read her poems at Bath Festival, at Frome Poetry Café and at Words & Ears in Bradford-upon-Avon. Twitter @frame_helen