Sunday, 24 June 2012

That crazy dress your mother wore...

... a poem for my daughter, when she was 14.

Summer dress

Take one more moment to look back at me.

In this day as I always was, am,
standing in the flowered dress,

bewitcher of butterflies and dragonflies,
my summer aurora,
running as we did from a monster in the

park laughing until we escaped it together,
you could always find me in a crowd
and take a fistful with your thumb in your mouth,

my baby elephant, my tail,
2017: The dress (on me)
and its sister, (on daughter),
which she found at a

second-hand store this summer,
20 years after I found mine.
Same unknown seamstress,
same hand-made label, 
same loud, strangely magical dress.

which you never fail to remind me that you hate,
now that you are 14.

But you will see it.

Me comfortable in a folding chair at the beach,
or beside the soccer pitch,
or walking toward you on the sidewalk,
waiting for you after school and a hard day,

by the kitchen sink in the heat of summer,
smell of house and sound of mowing
making it July, and hot and early evening.

or pulling weeds in a moment of futility,
looking sideways, in the way that memory sneaks up on you
and casts itself forever, indelible,

in another mother walking with her child
in a flowered summer dress,

and you wondering who I was,
and where to find me.

PD

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