Dresses

I slip off the red cloth belt and let the flowing linen stitched with red thread fall open.
One easy piece, it drapes and falls easily around my neck
Sliding my arms through the one hole the dress falls, so simply

I look at the one I’ve chosen to wear, on the day that will never be
Carefully I remove it from the hanger, a dead weight falling in my arms, it’s heavier than I remember
Beautiful still, the beading, the golden sheen, I think for a split second
It’s my dress

I step into it, trying to find the floor through the layers of tulle and fabric
Slowly pulling it up
Zipping the zipper
Clasping the clasps around my waist, cinching myself in
Delicately, ever so carefully, putting my arms in the beaded sleeves
Fasting one button at the top of my neck to finish the act

I head to the mirror in the next room, it feels different this time, dis-ease comes over me 
I pass myself in a smaller mirror in the hall, stop dead
There I am, framed from chest up, in a dress
I catch myself stunned by the beauty of the dress

In front of the full-length mirror now, I take myself in
This is what I had chosen
This was my dress
I feel constricted
Weighted down
My arms can’t reach up to the sky
My legs can’t take their full stride like I do when walking

I can see where I was
I can see who I was
Looking back at me, myself in the present
I realize this was not my dress
That was not my life

My dress is the light linen wrapped casually around my waist
Fastened in place with only one red cloth belt
My dress flows with the breeze of my life
With the movement I found
With the freedom I created

And with that 
 I unfasten the button
I carefully remove my arms from the sleeves
The clasps undo themselves, as if the dress knows too
I pull down on the zipper
I step out of the layers of tulle and fabric and beautiful beads
I hang up the dress

In moments I’m dressed
Wrapped comfortably in linen
I look back at the dress
I hope it finds as good a home as I’ve found

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