After the Fire, Dressing

Jane Springer | Poetry

You used to dress monochromatic (or rather, cinematic?)
in what the town called your black
widow suits:

black cardigans w/wide leg pants & webs of scarves to hide
your neck, a casket of long
long underthings—

but now you wear what the old ladies bag & bring for you:
Polyester peasant shirt with full
blown roses

blooming on each boob to help you grow into a memorable
garden—or a Coach purse to
imagine life’s

not a one runaway pumpkin led by mice. A hound’s-tooth
coat & missing belt which
adds in equal

parts: Be careful, be open to the kind of caretaking that may
lick your deepest wounds
up to your

nostril, for old ladies know a body needs laughter for survival
& they throw in the 2-X
gold Gloria

Gaynor jumpsuit because they see you as a phoenix or if not
there is no bird beyond
sewing a Diva’s

song into—though, because they also know with soaring will
come sifting, sorting, panic,
& snoring they

hand knit soft pink sleeping-booties in your exact size w/a
correct fit for left foot
versus right—

How did you sleep through so many years not knowing how
the old ladies who yarn
& darn the path

incognito before you are necessary to your being as air or light?