LBD – poem for dVerse

V-backed, slipping off a white shoulder

showing the long groove of my spine,

always adjusting it, too hot, too cold;

 

That Sixties shape in heavy lace –

he kissed me on the doorstep,

but I didn’t let him in –

I left him standing there.

It was my right.

 

A cobweb back – Morticia –

vampire – lamia – velvet –

all those dark-eyed

seducing women –

I swayed, half-dazed,

half-dancing, black widow

in my spider dress;

 

Glazed cotton, lacing up the front –

purple ribbon, leather thong,

punk Cinders in the ashes;

 

My mini-crini – wobbled as I walked

Audrey-Hepburn-ed me,

made me a chess queen,

something strange

and somehow silly

and yet beautiful;

 

Tight, scoop-neck, lace sleeves –

“well done” he said

and me wiggling, wriggling,

lipstick smeared;

 

The one I bought to hide

my steroid belly and my lack

of cleavage, wore it with that hat –

hated it by the end,

and burned it. Only good for that;

 

The Christmas party stand-by –

glitzed up with gold,

the one that never creases,

old reliable. Always looks great.

You need a dress like that;

 

the funeral one, worn with

a black bolero, jet-beaded,

standing in the rain

and weeping, yoked by the family;

 

the gently flowing one

with folksy flowers,

forgiving.

 

We all need forgiveness.

And a perfect dress.

 

Anmol is hosting at dVerse tonight and asks us to think about shades of black. There haven’t been many constants in my wardrobe, but a little black dress is one of them.

17 thoughts on “LBD – poem for dVerse

  1. This was really captivating Sarah. A perspective of life I have never had the ability to see. This was great, I loved it! Full of wonderful imagery, shared graciously by you. Thank you. I never had a perfect dress, though I have certainly required my share of forgiveness, and was fortunate enough to be granted much of it.

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  2. This is one of your best–I loved it. We men are not privy to the relationship women can b\ave with clothes. I liked the lines /he kissed me on the doorstep, but I didn’t let him in/.

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  3. I’m not really one for dressing up, but I do love black dresses, Sarah. I love the way you link life events and dresses in this poem, and the way you remember the feel of the spider dress. I identify with the always adjusting and the too hot, too cold. I especially love ‘punk Cinders in the ashes’ and ‘mini-crini’ – I always wanted a dress like that. As I said before, if I’d been born several decades later, I’d have been a Goth.

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    • This was partly inspired by my daughter heading off to a party in her first LBD – pretty much what I would have worn at her age. It made me think about all the black dresses I have owned – and I still have quite a few of them, because they haven’t aged, even though I have…

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  4. We all need a perfect dress indeed and more often than not, the black ones seem to last the longest. I love how these descriptive dresses reveal a lifetime, with their different moods and occasions. This is my favourite image because it is so carefree: “I swayed, half-dazed,/half-dancing, black widow/in my spider dress”.

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  5. What a creative wardrobe journey you shared with us! Beautifully written. A perusal of my own closet tells no stories, I think!!

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  6. Late late to the reading; apologies for that! BUT oh so glad I read this poem of yours. It is truly amazing. I’m reading along, about each dress . . . and smiling…the mention of Audrey Hepburn, the lack of cleavage, all of it here…and then wham! This stanza:
    “the funeral one, worn with
    a black bolero, jet-beaded,
    standing in the rain
    and weeping, yoked by the family;”
    WOW! Weeping, yoked by the family….such a powerful powerful stanza and ending. The tone shifts remarkably. So very very well done!

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