Wednesday, August 11, 2010

One Dress

One Dress
A Myth

When a girl is born,
layers of her soul are stripped off
and sent into the atmosphere.

The lady-shaped shadows
flutter out into tailors’ workshops
and textile factories, into

closets and shops
where garments dangle, bodiless
skins. Like dress patterns,

the cross-sections of soul
crinkle as they meet fabric, pressing
themselves into being.

There comes a time
in a girl’s life when a gown is needed.
She will be married,

or will attend a grand
dance or party. There is only one dress
for her, and it waits

for her to select it, to
occupy its fabric as muscles stretch flesh.
If she chooses the right

dress, that one dress
lined with her soul, she will know it
by her anatomy’s instant

and perfect alignment.
She will know that she has been formed
in order to fill it out.


  1. I do recall such a dress that I had to have... : )

  2. This is beautiful! I have always dreamed of this dress and hope to find it one day.

  3. this a truly beautiful poem...

    ... though i can't quite sign up the premis - i'm trying to encourage my pre-teen daughter to bloom in her own skin without obsessing about how she clothes it...

  4. I want that dress. So beautiful, Hannah. I will admit to feeling a little Hillman in this poem. Am I projecting?;-)

  5. I don't think I've found that dress yet... my dimensions aren't quite the type that fits in pretty dresses. Too short.

  6. excellent, lovely poem and I can relate to the concept too!

  7. I like the way you've title this poem: A Myth. The poem brings back memories of my wedding dress. Amazingly, it was such a dress. It was very simple, gauzy off-white fabric all of one shade, sleeved with caps and lightly fitted with minimal lace, and a flowing flower petal skirt, for a summer outdoor wedding, an inexpensive sun dress I found "off the rack." I had to hand stitch to bring up the back waist length, so the fit was not initially perfect, but it fit my "soul" just as you describe. I can't think now how our simple wedding would have been the same without it. It's a beautiful myth! I imagine it's hard to find such a dress, and I was lucky.

  8. I had such a dress, once. The wedding dress my mom hand sewed for me once...

  9. Yes. You had such a dress. You knew it the moment you saw it and tried it on. I'd love to post a photo but I don't have your permission. I also had one, chosen by others for me but the right one nonetheless.


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