Addressed by a Dress

When I put it over my shoulders I could feel the NO

reaching up out of me as my arms swam through the air

the soft silk landed sweet purple pink swish and there

is this woman with her short brown hair in the mirror

looking stunned at her body fitting and feminine feeling

the forty-two years pass in one simple second.


So?  Can you stretch yourself into that woman? The one who allows herself

to be pretty and powerful in this  perfect little dress? My friend asks laying on the bed

surrounded by other dresses she brought from the open closet of an examined self.


I smoothed out the memories of my Don’t you mess with me me  in the creases

releasing that fifteen year old banished me in the mirror

to join us here.  I’m coming to the wedding too, she said.


Plunking herself on the bed.  I stood up tall and felt the exquisite softness

of a spaghetti strap holding the two of us tenuously together here

in the sweet soft silky pink and purple that we will wear.


  1. So are you back to your fifteen-year-old or twenty-seven-year old self?

    Sometimes I wish I could go back to live my life over again, not to end up in a different place because I’m happy where I am and with how it all turned out, but because I wish I could enjoy the lived experience of being me more, then and now. It’s hard to be so damn serious all the time, and being a woman there’s this complex attractiveness puzzle to crack, which I’ve just tended to throw into a corner; I don’t have time for such things, I think, and have much more important and worthwhile things to think about. But there it stays, and I see it out of the corner of my eye from time to time. Might be fun to give it a try, and there’s a longing for fun that never goes away and I often feel like I’m missing out.

    So we’re in sync again. This week I bought a new dress, my second fabulous one in two weeks, from a store I used to shop at when I was fifteen, which I ran across serendipitously again. They’ve grown up since then, but so have I, and the guy there convinced me to buy outside my comfort zone and I’m so glad I did and I feel like “that woman” whenever I wear those dresses. Thanks to him for talking me into buying them and thanks to you for writing about “that girl” on Facebook, an expression that hit a nerve, even if I can’t bring myself to call myself a girl, ever.

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