The Unlock Dress Code

By Sue Spiers

Monday’s mask bears buttercups,
saffron buttons under launderette-fog glasses.


Beetroot stains her Tuesday mouth
like rose lipstick. No one sees her smile.


To the bank on Wednesday with leaf-green
tree design, branches loop her ears.


Segments over her nostrils
at the grocer’s; tangerines for tea.


Down to the sea on Fridays, cod
and chips seep vinegar in a Hokusai wave.


Adoring Cadbury’s dairy milk,
the sweet shop owner nods to Jenny Joseph.


She hops the double decker to church
with a post-box between nose and chin.


Inspiration: The inspiration for this poem came, in part, from a book called Tingo which explores non-English words without translation: page 182 has the Thai dress code of colours to wear for good luck on each day of the week. This is coupled with a covid-need to wear masks, also for good luck.


Pens of the Earth is about encouraging writers to celebrate existing environmental initiatives, and to imagine what might be.

Help us to support our global reforestation charity Tree Sisters and plant 2,000 trees by March 2021.

Click on the logo above to donate via Pens of the Earth’s TreeSisters page. Every £10 plants around 25 trees.

Learn more about Pens of the Earth:

Sign up to the Pens of the Earth mailing list.

Follow Pens of the Earth on Facebook and Twitter to stay informed.

Star & Crescent are proud to support Pens of the Earth as a media partner. Stay up to date with all the Pens of the Earth stories as they’re published here.

Image by Amanda Martin from Pixabay

S&C is managed and operated by a small team who work on a voluntary and freelance basis to run our website, social media and engage with local residents and communities.

If you want to find out more about the challenges facing local independent news: visit the #SaveIndependentNews campaign website, get involved with S&C, donate, and help us spread the word on Facebook and Twitter.

And if you want to know more about us, click here.