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,



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.


  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/.


  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.


    • 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…

      Liked by 1 person

  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”.


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


  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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