The Pattern

Thirty-six years, to the day, after our wedding
When a cold figure-revealing wind blew against you
And lifted your veil, I find in its fat envelope
The six-shilling Vogue pattern for your bride's dress,
Complicated instructions for stitching bodice
And skirt, box pleats and hems, tissue-paper outlines,
Semblances of skin which I nervously unfold
And hold up in snow-light, for snow has been falling
On this windless day, and I glimpse your wedding dress
And white shoes outside in the transformed garden
Where the clothes-line and every twig have been covered.


from Snow Water (Jonathan Cape, 2004), copyright © Michael Longley 2004, used by permission of the author and the publisher

Where next?

Recordings

Buy album £0.00

1In Memoriam

2Leaving Inishmore

3Caravan

4Swans Mating

5Wounds

6In Memory of Gerard Dillon

7The West

8Skara Brae

9Man Lying on a Wall

10The Linen Workers

11Frozen Rain

12Thaw

13Self-Heal

14The Linen Industry

15Between Hovers

16Detour

17Gorse Fires

18Remembering Carrigskeewaun

19An Amish Rug

20Laertes

21Ghetto

22The Butchers

23The Ice-cream Man

24Autumn Lady's Tresses

25A Flowering

26Ceasefire

27The White Garden

28The Ghost Orchid

29The War Graves

30The Horses

31The Rabbit

33The Beech Tree

34Snow Water

35The Pattern

36Above Dooaghtry

32Etruria

Books by Michael Longley