A Wedding Dress Story

She didn’t want this wedding dress

to be a widow,

alone,

encased in plastic

in the unused dark

of the closet,

moved after spring cleaning

to the basement

near the leaky window,

after five years

moth-balled to the

old unopened hope chest

of her mother’s closet,

weeping, weeping, weeping

for the man she lost,

subsisting on hope angels,

decaying, yellowing

a luminescent ghost,

a virgin,

never to be worn,

never to be adored,

never to be passionately wanted,

just praying, praying, praying

and attracting only moths.

 

Wait, wait, wait,

after all these years,

it’s the granddaughter

touching it,

measuring it,

sizing it up

and seeing it

doesn’t fit her dreams.

will never

fit her dreams

and putting it back

without a second thought.

 

The grandmother

touches it yellow lace

and realizes it’s not

good enough,

worthy enough

to donate to

the local goodwill.

 

She doesn’t have the

heart to put it in the trash

and the scavenging fury

of the gulls and crows at the dump,

or cut it into cleaning rags.

 

It’s too old to go back

to the closet.

and the hope chest

is overstuffed already.

 

She takes it outside

in the bright clear light

and places it on the concrete pad,

douses it with gasoline

of the highest octane

and throws,

the last cigarette

she will ever smoke

defiantly, sadly on it.

 

She watches it return to the sky

in  candolescent congratulations.