Thursday, December 26, 2013

Daily Prompt: Jackets and Blouses

A friend and I were trading clothes the other day--swapping jackets and tops that no longer suit us or we've tired of--and I remembered this poem. I wrote it for a friend I knew in Yucca Valley. In chronological age, Ollie was old enough to be my grandmother, but we were kindred spirits. I never thought about years when we were together; just fun.

Elegy for Iola

Those she sewed for herself, fit better than what I buy off the rack.
The jacket with four round black buttons— 
I wore at work all day while I talked 
About Odysseus and his journey home…
The shroud Penelope wove during the day, unraveled at night.
The sleeveless blouse with a zipper up the back,
I wore last Saturday sitting on the patio 
With the sun on my shoulders for the first time this year. 
I haven’t worn a full-length slip 
Since I was a girl in velvet dressed for an assembly. 
This old slip feels silky and cool.
I’ll wear it beneath a green dress at a wedding next week.

The stitches you sewed are small and even,
And even though the red blouse’s fabric is shiny from ironing, 
the print has barely faded.

first published in The Packinghouse Review

Daily Prompt: Write about a piece of clothing special to you.

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