We're delighted to present our Poem Of The Day, presented in association with Poetry Ireland.
Today's poem is Dress 1979, by A.M. Cousins - read it below.
The blue summer dress,
purchased in haste –
nine-ninety nine in A-Wear –
was woven entirely from viscose
with an elasticated waist
that facilitated the swelling belly;
gentle gathers at shoulder level
drew the eye from the ripening breasts
and the skirt skimmed the hips.
A pattern of scattered red pencils
made the priest smile when I walked to the altar.
Morning sickness struck directly after the vows
and the floor came towards me.
I remember some embarrassed laughter
when my new mother-in-law fetched water
from the sacristy and held it to my lips,
her steadying arm around my waist.
I didn't care much then.
I care now.
I care that I broke their hearts,
that, all those years ago, I made my mother cry
and my father may have cried too
as he shook his head because, even with a degree
under my belt, I was as foolish as the ones
who gave it all away for nothing and tried
to cover their tracks with corsets
that pinched and squeezed under wedding dresses.
The dress hangs in my wardrobe –
I check it every now and then –
the waist sags slightly,
the hem has been adjusted
to accommodate changing fashions
but the blue holds fast to its man-made fibres
and the interfacing still supports the collar.