by Vicki Morley

The school had rules, costumes must be
black, woolen and crossed at the back.
In the school pool, the legs grew and the top
sagged, I had to tie the straps,
roll up the legs before I dare get out.

At home I put it in the dustbin
my mother found it and washed it.
Next time I cut a hole in it
and that was that.

I borrowed my sister’s swimsuit,
turquoise with low back and bra
built in. Swimming along in my white
bathing hat, the headmistress
spotted me. ordered me out
and off to her room
for punishment.

I got out, changed and knew
she would not recognize me.
I went to the next lesson
knowing I was invisible
in my school uniform.

And now…I wear a bikini.

PHOTO: “Teen girl at pool,” vintage photo available at ebay.com.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I lived on the Isle of Portland (U.K.) and near to the beach, the end where the giant pebbles are, the other end near Weymouth has the smaller ones. I write by handwriting in a journal before altering many times on the computer, and belong .to a poetry group that is called the Penzance Stanza.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Vicki Morley used to work at GCHQ, Cheltenham, U.K., in Russian intelligence, then ran two comprehensive schools as head, now writes poetry. She has read her work at Falmouth, Marazion, and Penzance’s Literary Festivals. Her ambition is to keep the local independent bookshop open by buying from their poetry selection.