23 minutes ago
Friday, April 13, 2012
Poetry Friday: Yellow Dress
I'm enjoying the Progressive Poem (here's today's line), and it's got me thinking about how I usually write a poem. It's so different to be working with many sensibilities instead of just one. Usually my poems come entirely from my own brain, my own digesting of what's going on around and in me. Nobody else could write exactly what I do, in exactly the way I do.
Those ruminations made me think of my yellow dress. This poem comes from a memory that nobody else shares (except maybe Michelle, whom you'll meet in the second line). I found a picture of a yellow dress to illustrate the post, but the point is really the dream quality of the dress and all it's come to represent to me in those many (ahem) years since that summer afternoon.
One July afternoon in Paris
Michelle and I went into a little shop
and I tried on a yellow dress.
(I had a backpack full of
my Carte Orange and
my book of All the French Verbs Ever and
probably some poetry.
And, of course, a bunch of cliches.
I put down my backpack
to try on that dress.)
What a silky, flattering dress it was
and Michelle encouraged me to buy it
but I didn't
because it cost too much.
Probably my life would have been different
if I'd bought that dress.
I would have been beautiful
and my boyfriend would never have left me.
I would have worn sweatpants a lot less often
and taken better care of my skin
and not cried so much.
If I had bought that yellow dress
I bet I would be taller
and more confident
and weigh twenty pounds less.
I would be a better cook
and not so emotional
and I would wear cooler shoes.
I would write clear, incisive, convincing prose.
I would never yell at my children.
I would be altogether smoother
and more polished.
I looked great in that dress
(of course I was nineteen and hadn't had any babies yet)
and if I had bought it
(of course by now it would be faded by the tropical sun)
I would be a goddess
(of course I would have given it away years ago).
Sometimes I think about the lovely me I left behind
when I walked out of the store,
saying goodbye to that dress.
That was a yellow dress from Paris.
That was a perfect summer afternoon.
Ruth, from thereisnosuchthingasagodforsakentown.blogspot.com
Here's today's Poetry Friday roundup.