I hung your only good dress on the line.

I watched as

drops of water

dripped like tears

from its fabric.

I hoped it would be dry

for you to wear home

when you were well.

I didn’t know you were dying.

Your only symptom a fever,

and you cried out in the night

that your legs were sore.

Swiftly as Scathach

annihilated her foe,

It invaded

your membranes.

An attack so virulent, you

succumbed without defence.

Daddy carried your

white coffin down the long aisle of our village church.

His body, as broken as his mind,

bent and stooped under the weight as

he carried

his little girl

on his shoulders

for the last time.

Your only good dress

was still hanging on the line

when we came home from your funeral mass.

My tears fell

like drops of water on its fabric,

when I unpegged it and

held it to my face.

 

©Pauline Mc Namee 2017

Pauline Mc Namee is a writer, post-primary English and history teacher, a Spoken Word performer and writing workshop facilitator. Pauline travels to venues throughout Ireland to facilitate Creative Writing Workshops for adults, children and teenagers. She participated in the Bay Area Writing Project’s 2017 Invitational Summer Institute and is now a teacher-consultant for UC, Berkeley. She would love to return to the Bay Area next summer to facilitate her writing workshops!!! In October 2018, Pauline was awarded a First Class Honours MA in Writing from the National University of Ireland, Galway. She is passionate about enabling and supporting all age groups to develop their creative writing skills and talents. Pauline’s Creative Writing workshops are designed and tailored to meet the particular requirements of each group. Her workshops include a combination of traditional storytelling and writing in addition to multi-media writing and storytelling.

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One Response to “Your Only Good Dress by Pauline Mc Namee”

  1. martywill Says:

    His body, as broken as his mind,

    bent and stooped under the weight as

    he carried

    his little girl

    on his shoulders

    for the last time.

    Loved this image and “the white coffin” so much, Pauline. Gripping and sad.

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