Sunday, May 11, 2008


Black Dress
- for my mother

Where is the black dress
I watched you cut
from satin sheets?

Handmade with love
the label declared,
as they all did.

What did I know then of love?

I thought I needed
to rid myself of you
to become me

so I put your creations in bags,
left them at the curb
for a truck to carry away.

Now your joints swell,
your sewing machine stays covered,
and I have money for dresses.

But I want them back,
those dresses that were born
of your mind and fingers

the black dress
out of style now
but classic

the way black dresses are,
the way we learn about love
too late.

- Irene Latham

This poem can be found in the book POEMS FROM THE BIG TABLE, and it is one I wrote in response to a piece of art by Liz Reed. The poem is close to my heart especially today on the Mother's Day before my mother moves away from me for the very first time (up till now, we have always lived in the same city) and on the first Mother's Day we celebrate without my mother-in-law.

Big Happy Mother's Day to all my mom friends out there! You are amazing!!

"All women become like their mothers. That is their tragedy. No man does. That's his."

~Oscar Wilde, The Importance of Being Earnest, 1895

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