Poetry: "Junebug" by Elizabeth McGeown



I will write a poem about Elisabeth Moss's face.

So much to say about Elisabeth Moss's face!

How the neat white cap rests atop hair –

a modest bonnet for a modest woman.


A folded peak over a delicate ear; high, unblemished

forehead; her nose, the severe point of it. Flashbacks

where lips are red in the time before. Casual chaos

of styled bedhead, strands stick to laughter lips.


Cannot reconcile this hair over face with neat

as a pin Offred, makeup free Offred, wild-eyed

staring, harshly ragged lips Offred, bitten so much

she appears diseased, rotting from the inside out.


My poem will concentrate mainly on her eyes,

how they widen in horror, this bug-eyed beauty.

Tears run down and clear a pristine path,

you never realised her face was dirty,


could get this dirty until you see what lies beneath,

until you see the Max Factor mask in the before,

flashbacks with career and Netflix subscription,

her panstick pale freshness.


Tight-lipped in the face of adversity. Meek,

mocking voice belying a roaring furnace,

gets away with salacious, suggestive,

butter-not-melting, but-I-couldn't-possibly,


face twisting in malicious grin when she tastes

freedom, when the reins loosen,

when something, somewhere goes wrong

for those who do not wear red.


How a mood will cross her wide tundra so slowly

we see each microexpression: each curve, sneer

while lips catch up with thoughts. Arc of eyeballs


rolling, fitting neatly as they do in their sockets.

In between chores you lie

on the floor and smile, there is nothing else to do.


My bug-eyed June.

My Junebug.






Elizabeth McGeown is a Pushcart-nominated poet from Belfast, Northern Ireland. She is the current UK Slam Champion and has work published or forthcoming in journals including Banshee, Abridged and Under the Radar. Her first collection 'Cockroach' will be published by Verve Poetry Press in summer 2022 ’

Website: https://elizabethmcgeown.com/

Twitter: @CandysEyes