The Moya View

Hot Wax on a Wool Dress

Image: Lena Altshul

After three days of black rags over mirrors,
three days of the open coffin in the parlor,
Nana’s eyes closed, unable to see beyond-
Lena, needed to run around the backyard,
holding the hand of the first living thing that
would follow her around, round, round.

She was wearing the last wool dress Nana
knitted for her (a green, white yellow thing
of tartan design), holding the hand of Leandro
from next door— going around, round, round,
until every tree blurred, and out of breath, they
had to stop— wait to see the world again.

And there it was, a hole just above the hem line,
too small to be noticed by the adults carrying
the coffin to the hearse, the adults tugging Lena
into the car behind, leaving Leandro alone.

At the cemetery, Lena was given a candle,
told to hold it out from herself so it wouldn’t
spoil her new dress. But she didn’t listen.
Lena cradled the candle close to her, let it
melt down onto the green, white, yellow hem,
watched it fill in the hole so nicely, perfectly.

When it hardened it smelled of Nana’s hair,
so warm and beautiful, love mingled with
the faint scent of every fluffy woolen thread,
Nana’s present that will fill all her dreams.





One response to “Hot Wax on a Wool Dress”

  1. caroline46 Avatar

    Love this

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