PINNING THE DRESS Neither one of us felt a prick but there it was: one mote of blood no larger than a floater in an eye spotting my daughter's white graduation gown while I pinned the lining near her spine. Honey, don't move, stay perfectly still. Quickly I wet a towel to dab, dab the red dot which came from no human skin as far as I could tell and when the stain disappeared without a trace on the cloth I thought of her kindergarten and that storybook: a damsel spinning, spinning. A ready needle. A child gone, the girl no real mother could save. by Therese L. Broderick NOTE: This version of the poem was improved by the input of two local critique groups. The poem recounts what happened as I pinned my daughter's high school graduation dress in June 2011. I still don't know where the red dot came from: pricked skin? nail polish fleck? dried blood on the pin?