GOT a poem you would like to share with Army&You‘s readers? Send it, preferably along with a photograph, to and we’ll feature it in Well-versed. This poem, from Bryony Doran, is about a difficult time when her son had been deployed to Afghanistan and she worried about being presentable in case the Army arrived at her door. Bryony now has a published book of poems called Home front – see more about her poetry in the summer edition of Army&You.


The dressing gown

She is delaying the morning ritual:

showering, cleaning her teeth, getting dressed,

the unkindness of every day repeating itself,


tasks folding from yesterday into today:

cleaning the toilet, the kitchen floor, hand-washing.

Jobs that require rubber gloves


and onions, the chopping and frying of onions.

She’ll get washed soon, start a new day

with her hair smelling of apple and camomile.


The Postman knocks, brings a package

from a world where other people live.

What if they were to come to the back door


with her in her dressing gown smelling of onions?         

She’d have to send them to stand on the pavement,

take a quick shower, dress and do her teeth.    


They’d hold their berets by the rim, look down

at their shoes. She’d hear their words in her kitchen.

– Could they make her a cup of sweet tea?

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