Liz Parkes

Liz Parkes lives in Stourbridge, West Midlands. A former teacher, she is a member of Cucumber, a play writing group based at Birmingham Rep. She writes plays, short stories for a blog (prompted tales) and both page and performance poetry. She has had work published in anthologies and writer’s magazines.

The Coffin Works Wedding

She keeps it close, buried deep, out of sight;

the memory of a long attic room, the giggle

of girls when tight-lipped gossip fizzed hot

on the iron; the hiss of scissor blades as cloth

slid like water across the table; machines

where fat, coned bobbins jumped and jiggled;

those glossy bolts of pastel shades, lilacs, creams,

peach (for darker skins)- and so much white.

Each night she hid guilt beneath her smile

folded satin off-cuts, ribbons, lace trims

warm as love letters tucked above her heart;

sealed her lips with a mouthful of pins

a secrecy that shrouded the artful

way death paid for her walk down the aisle.