An ordinary skirt of cotton and yesterdays

I’ve been picking at my hemline.

Everything has unravelled and it has changed things completely.

I last wore that skirt when I saw him beside the shop with soul written across its window. It was one of those coincidental meetings; on a wide and only blue sky day when the last person in the world you expect to meet turns up right in front of you.



I was happy to see him, though my silly little heart beat itself into a rhythm that sang songs about if-only-you-knew and something-is-breaking.

He embraced me with just the right amount of nervous energy and although I didn’t need his cheeky enticing and enveloping smile that day, it changed things too.

I was born from change.

I think too much.

I feel too deeply.

I remember our last conversation. It was during a time of my life when I was lost and searching, found and running.

I remember him holding me and asking me to be still.

I was never good at being still then.

You can’t run like the wind and pause in the arms of someone who makes you feel the exact intricate and confronting emotions that you’ve been escaping from. Not whilst wearing a pretty ordinary skirt of cotton and yesterdays sliding up and over your knees, tracing your thighs with maybe.

Not whilst your head and your heart fights against each other in a duel of what is best for you.

I straightened my skirt and my heart and I forgot about my head and I did dumb things that one only ever does when it matters most. I said things that I regretted and I made myself into someone I wasn’t.

I became someone I despised.

I didn’t blame him for never speaking to me again.

I was an idiot.

It saddens me that he never got to hold that girl who could pause.


I know time and space and hemlines change but I wish that I had just sat with him for longer than I did.

I should’ve let him see the real me; the true girl he’d met on a night of perfect timing and dangling moon.

I despise that I was the second biggest mess I’ve ever been in my tangled life whilst in his presence.

He reminds me of the cotton in my skirt; the hemline with a failing thread. The one I tugged and pulled at until it completely unravelled everything. He is the thread that has weaved itself in and out of my life. I am the falling hem.

I’m going to throw the skirt in the bin.

It is yesterdays skirt.

© ryan

An ordinary skirt of cotton and yesterdays

PJ Ryan

Melbourne, Australia

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