Garment Gossip

Written for Margo Roby’s Poem Tryouts, “Clothing Memories”
(Prompt by Diane Lockward)
Your objective is to list articles of clothing through your life that stick in your mind, and to jot down why you remember each one.  You get the idea: clothing + memory = story. There are a couple of ways you can tell the story. You can narrate a specific scene as a memory, or as happening now — even if it happened forty years ago. The bonus prompt suggests we let the article of clothing tell the story. You can speak in first person, or third. Not every story that is part of you has to be told from the first person point of view. Sometimes a poem works better if told from the third person.

Well darling, you are nice
enough in your brown
sort of way, but she’s thirteen,
wanting something with pizzazz.
Now as you see, I offer, her
first straight line dress–
powder blue–a color to die for,
and a white fake fur color.
No contest.

We worked as a team. I was black
and made of fishnet. Her legs
looked fabulous. My coworkers
completed the look with a black
leather mini-skirt, blood red
silk blouse, and high heels,
color of candy apples. I do not
like to brag, but fashion-wise –
those were her best years.

I admit I was a bit too short
and tight, but she purchased me
mid-menopause, hormones wreaking
havoc. A Chinese red and gold
brocade dress? She could not
say no. My silk made her tingle
with life.

A gift from her husband, I flew
all the way from Ireland
to New York. Soft burgundy,
floor length cape. My dear,
she simply took on that mysterious
film noir, femme fatale role,
as if I was sewn right on her.
I will outlast them all.

About purplepeninportland

I am a freelance poet, born and bred in Brooklyn, New York. I live with my husband, John, and two charming rescue dogs–Marion Miller and Murphy. We spent eight lovely years in Portland, OR, but are now back in New York. My goal is to create and share poetry with others who write, or simply enjoy reading poetry. I hope to touch a nerve in you, and feel your sparks as well.
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4 Responses to Garment Gossip

  1. A great idea to make the clothes themselves into characters in a story.


  2. margo roby says:

    I can tell you had fun. What a great idea. After I blog, I’m going to indulge myself and pick the five articles of clothing I might have chosen for such a conversation. I’ll be able to amuse myself for ages!


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