Poem of the week: Communion

A new poem by Rachael Hegarty


She yards out chiffon and sorts the paper pattern for me frock.
The kitchen table’s a feast of pins, shears and tailor’s chalk.
Ma steadies and measures me. She cuts the pattern on the bias.
Watch her tread the bobbin with pursed lips, a sleight of hand
and a careful lean into the machine. I’m lulled by her tap dance
on the floor pedal and how her swift hands and gymnastic fingers
feed material under the hammering needle and steely Singer’s foot.
Ma keeps her head down but explains the work as she goes along.

French seam, a double security for a tree-shinny-tom-boy like you,
appliqué of ribbon on cuffs to save delicate sleeves from pure filth,
a white feather trim, like Noah’s resting dove, warm at your neck,
the lining of linen to keep you cool if the Child of Prague glows,
a blind hem and waist darts with give for growth. Lemme fit you.

She zips, buttons and ribbons the white dress: a smashin’ beauty.

Rachael Hegarty was born in Dublin and reared in Finglas. Her debut collection, “Flight Paths Over Finglas” was awarded the 2018 Shine Strong Award.