Winter 2007 Poetry Competition Third Prize

The Unfinished Dress


by Su Laws Baccino

Great Grandma wore a doily on her head.

I was never quite sure

if it was meant to be there.

Was it that crocheted piece from the back of her chair

or was it, perhaps, one of those caps

like Queen Victoria used to wear.

A strange old bird,

short and square,

no real shape,

her clothes black, brown, or grey.

Summer, winter she wore long-sleeved woolly tops.

Voluminous ankle-length skirts

that caught frequently on concertinaed

lisle stockings stuffed tight into wooden clogs;

in which she walked with a clomp,

lifting her feet high with every step

as if frightened of missing the ground.


Wrapped around her ample frame, hip to hip,

an apron with a pocket, out of which peeped

a crochet hook and a ball of bright red cotton.

She said she was making me a dress.

Great Grandma laughed a lot, reached crescendos

so great,

so loud,

I sometimes thought her house would fall down.

 ©2007 Su Laws Baccino

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