My wedding dress disappeared
mysteriously – to my mother’s
so many hours had gone into
its creation – this frothy concoction
of Italian lace and pale pink ribbon
(reminiscent of handmade
party frocks from my childhood)
She had folded it carefully into
a Chinese camphor wood chest
(owned by her mother)
smoothing gossamer
billows into submission
pressing them gently
into the comfortable
darkness of ancient wood –
but one day when she
peeked into the dimness
it was gone…
all of the creamy, flower
embossed sweetness
like flimsy dreams
for a cherished daughter
who, strangely, did not share
her sorrow at this loss
but gratefully received the
empty, teak hard, box
carved with galloping
horses, swaying trees and
boatmen crossing a stormy river…

Anita Patel


Anita was the guest editor of Not Very Quiet Issue 2.