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Month 5:14 “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?

About ThereseLBroderick

Independent community poet living in Albany, New York USA.

One response »

  1. Interesting and very fairy tale-like—I love how compact and charged this poem is.


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