Guys in Gingham Shirts

Carrie Hayes
2 min readApr 16, 2022

A poem

When mopeds and sunshine were something
I just took for granted
Sun kissed shoulders and a tummy
-Flatter than the one now sleeping beside me-

Covered in gingham.

He wears that simple check and it summons a past,
Not grieved but cherished.

Oh those gingham shirts,
The ones men have worn since forever.
Worn in summer, our bare feet covered in sand.

Infinite checks on endless bolts of cotton,
Bring to mind smiles, the taste of the sea on our lips
In a life still full of possibility.

And after a shower, they’d slip on those shirts
Newly clean, smelling awful nice.

This man in the solid blue shirt is my fella.
No longer young but still -

He channels a vibe to surprise and delight me.
The time ahead is less than the time behind us.

On warm afternoons
We savor a languid idleness,
Silently recalling a youth we didn’t share.

He often wears a gingham shirt, not because he likes it,
But because he knows that I do.

When I see him in those tiny checks,
The ones which stretch too tightly above his belt,
What I see is a time not mourned,

What I see is something I cherish.



Carrie Hayes

writes historical fiction and is the host of the podcast Angry Dead Women.