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The Blue Dress

ISSUE:  Summer 1984
I will go to my mother’s house.
A white-haired woman will open the door.
She will hesitate, wait until a light
Will light her face.
Am I her sister? Her mother? Her daughter?
She will know I am someone close.
She will know I have been there before.
“Daughter, is it you? Come in. Come close.
Close the door. Close the door.”

The doors in my mother’s mind
Are closing, one by one.
She cannot remember my name.
She cannot remember the name of her son.
She cannot remember the color of his eyes.
My blue-eyed brother has been lost for years.
How will he ever be found, if his mother
Does not remember the color of his eyes,
If she does not remember his name,
Or mine?

How do I go to my mother’s house
When the rooms are closing, one by one?
When even the light that occasionally lights
That last room
Is losing its shine?
Somewhere way back, before my father,
My brother, my sister, and me,
There was a new dress that was blue.
She remembers that dress. She wants one.
I buy her a new, blue dress. What else
Can I do? A light flickers
In her eyes.
There is something about the color blue.

How do I go to my mother’s house,
And what will I do,
When all the rooms have closed, one by one,
And the blue dress has gone
With the color of my brother’s eyes,
His name, and mine?
How do I go to my mother’s house
To close her eyes
For that last time?


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