(my Mother) New Clothes
My mother’s mouth is pursed,
by Janice Windle
bristling with pins.
Today she frowns in the pale sun
filtering through the sash window.
She pins and tucks, making me a dress
to fit my newly budding chest.
I stand still, sucking in
my puppy-round tummy.
“You’ve a nice waist now, ”
says the one I still call “Mummy”.
We can’t yet know,
but soon we shall discover
that with my grown-up body
I shall find my grown-up voice.
She will become coldly “Mother”.
I’ll struggle, break the bond,
find new clothes of my own choice,
go my way, take my risks,
put my faith in others.
There I stand, draped in soft green,
still defined by my mother’s loving handiwork.
For fifty years that morning has been
hung in my mind’s wardrobe.
The green dress long ago has turned to dust.
It was the last time that I felt uncomplicated trust.