August 23, 2010

[my mother's wedding dress]

My mother's wedding dress
once white, is now a faded yellow.
My father's baby pictures
are likewise a muted haze
and as for my grandparents
they slice the white cake
with a black-handled knife
and even Grandmamma's lipstick
doesn't look red.

I've watched movies on the War-
nobody has red lipstick in there, either.
I've seen tanks that must have been black
and uniforms that must have been gray
and nurse's outfits which were a crisp, pressed white
and on one page there were crosses
thousands of white crosses
which cast long black shadows
and shone black letter dates
and as I turned the pages
reading about battles with unfamiliar names
I turned to a page and saw
with amazement and sickening dismay
men walking in uniforms- somewhere, some past day
and one of the men, his hair was red
and I stopped and I saw his face

and before my eyes, the pages transformed
and in the gray uniforms I saw my brothers
and in the white nurse outfits I saw my mothers
and on the thousands of white crosses
I saw only one set of dates
marking the death of someone's beloved

- 12/16/10/ re. 12/19/10 re. 12/24/09 re. 1/29/10

This post is also offered for HighCallingBlogs Random Acts of Poetry.


  1. this is a really moving reflection.
    thanks for the clear, beautiful, sad images.