Will I Need It?


After ‘What Every Woman Should Carry’ by Maura Dooley

My first love gave me a lighter that was broken.

I don’t smoke so

I packed: a spare teabag, a pair of socks (they’re his – size 8),

the morning after pill (in date – just), a book to pretend to read

in case there is someone cute on

the train,

a gas mask (pink).

What if I get thirsty?

I added a bottle of water (red wine)

and one emergency cigarette –

Here, you can have the university bookmark I got for free!

I’m only pretending to read now anyhow.

Consider also taking your mothers advice,

or mine,

Condensed. Only the key points will fit because she talks a lot.

 If I have room, which I won’t, I’ll squeeze

in some gum, a RedBull, my ‘sexy’ pants (just in case someone cute gets on the train),

my ugly pants (spares are good)

and Vaseline because no one wants to kiss chapped lips.

I also packed My Pain,

pain because of what you said to me / what you didn’t say,

relief that I didn’t let slip those three true words, I love…

a small red wine, undisguised this time,

my mother’s engagement ring – lost and then found and then

lost once more, a letter I’ll never send, but adorned with a stamp,

your grin forgives you of all your negligence.

Stuffed in last is that full bin bag, my brain,

melting, a chocolate bar and, of course –

Don’t forget, a whole Christmas panettone.