Penny Lowery: Against Bras



I have one bra, it’s in a drawer
somewhere, I haven’t worn it for
many years. It hurts to think
of donning it. What’s worse, it’s pink.

Since adolescence I have tried
occasionally to buy one: wide
across the back, and flattish-chested –
I go about, instead, be-vested.

I'm better, surely, sans brassiere,
avoiding clothes that may be sheer
or cling too close. But, on request,
I can perform the pencil test

and fail abysmally. So – damn it –
should I rethink my lifetime habit,
brave the patronizing staff
(at least I’ll give them a good laugh)

go to Marks, and get one fitted?
be poked and measured, dropped and lifted,
and, bound in yards of stretchy nylon,
finally succumb, and buy one?

Well, no. And this decision’s easy:
the very notion makes me queasy.
I’m staying independent, brave
and unsupported – to the grave!