Story of a Dress
Anne Whitehouse
I remember that sleeveless summer dress
with wide stripes of mauve,
magenta and blue Marcia gave me,
loose and comfortable
with deep pockets and no zipper.
I slipped it over my head,
pulled my arms through the armholes,
and that was it.

But one day my daughter said,
“Lose it, Mom. I hate that dress on you.”
I knew it was time to let it go
but a part of me still loved it.
So I packed it with me to Cartagena
and in the Hotel de Tres Banderas,
I wore it to breakfast one morning.
Lidia, who worked there, admired it.
I returned to my room, reappearing
in pants and a tee-shirt
and gave her the dress on a hanger,
happy at the thought
of it swaying gently over Lidia’s hips
as she crosses a sun-dappled plaza
shaded by palms.

Anne Whitehouse's

most recent poetry collection is The Refrain (Dos Madres Press, 2012) The poems in riverbabble 22—The Eye that Cries and Story of a Dress — reflect her long-standing interest in Latin America. This is her second appearance in riverbabble: Before Rosh Hashanah and The Decisive Moment were published in issue 21.

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