The dress Marcia gave Linda
hangs in the balance, stranded in the middle
of Marcia and Linda, Marcia having long retreated,
Linda finally setting it down
on this long board of shadow and light.
Everything is suspended between Marcia
and Linda : the muted ends of the ironing board,
the iron versus the plug, the rumpled acquiescence of the dress
with its hint of a grandma’s apron
before the upright iron’s dead weight.
Linda will answer the call of the iron’s handle,
swinging the pensive face into action
as if moved by sudden resolve
to rescue a wrinkled cry,
Marcia’s yellows and greens rallying
beneath the rhythm of Linda’s elbow,
the ageless, ordinary grace
of countless elbows before.
can the skirmish of necklines
with the blunt-haired woman on the wall
and the ragged trees mend with the glorious truth
that nobody wants this dress.
Janis Greve teaches literature at UMass Amherst, specializing in autobiography, disability studies, and service-learning. She has previously published in such places as The Florida Review, North American Review, The Berkshire Review, and more.
The Ekphrastic Review
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