FALL 2009

Lynn Lifshin


.my favorite in high school,
a dress I’d wanted to see
marked down and finally wrote
the store, even then, able
to get what I wanted

more easily on paper. I
told them how often I’d come
back, hoping it would be marked
down and dashed up with my
mother when they agreed
to lower the price.

I feel the swirl of those
gowns I ran my hand through,
terrified mine wouldn’t
be there, then carrying it as
carefully as a baby of blown glass.

It was so full my waist
looked tiny inside it
with hoops and an eyelet bustier.
The dress took up half
my mother’s closet,

less space than I did in her,
especially after she had me.
I don’t think I wore it again, too
dressy, too much lace to pack.
But I can see it near the yellow

and the pink and white gauzy gowns,
swirling strapless, a part of 38
Main Street I expected to always
be as it was, like my mother
waiting for me to fill it

Just out from Lyn Lifshin: THE LICORICE DAUGHTER: MYYEAR WITH RUFFIAN, Texas Review Press. Also just out: ANOTHER WOMAN WHO LOOKS LIKE ME from Black Sparrow at Godine.. She has over 120 books & edited 4 anthologies. Her website: www.lynlifshin.com .Her last two Black Sparrow books, COLD COMFORT and BEFORE IT’S LIGHT won Paterson Review Awards.



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