The Fourteenth Dress

She wore white
He wore yellow
A new T-shirt

She wore white
He wore light blue
New strides

Never believed in suits and ties
Parents and guests not surprised

He had joined her in the quest
Dressmakers and fitting rooms
Up stairs and down stairs
Elevators  escalators
Mirrors
Measurements
For matrimony
How many shades of white can there be?
How many types
Of neckline
Hemline
Fabric

Summer day
In the gardens
In the park

Her brown eyes calmed him
As his blue eyes twitched with nerves
But at least no stutter
When it came to the words

After the informal formalities
He played cricket
In the park
She talked to parents and guests
In her white dress
Grace and charm and dignity
With aunts, uncles, friends and family
While, like a boy, he chased a tennis-ball across
Dry summer grass
Staving off maturity

The dress now in a crowded wardrobe
Protected in plastic
Modest neckline
Below the knee hemline
It would still fit
Three decades on

The T-shirt and strides?
Folded and faded
But at least separated
From ancient black trackie dacks
Old bike shorts
Second-hand footy jumpers
And salty bathers

She wore white
How many shades of love can there be?

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