ThrowBackThursday (TBT POETRY–Wrote this in 1991 when I moved to Florida)


I never wear white

It makes me look fat

It wipes out my complexion

And being a slob, white isn’t right for me


But what a great white dress discovered

In the Goodwill Thrift Shop

Only $3.50


Although it hung just below the knee

It looked very Victorian

(The only era for me)

So I decided that maybe I could dye it blue

Nah (I think in slang)

Walked away


Seductive lodestone irresistibly

Dragged me across the floor

Look, I argued, this is Florida

You wore dark colors in Philly

But white is for Florida

Agonized over it and once again

Walked away


Poked around the other stuff in the store

Then submitted to my desire

Ripped it off the rack

Almost dropped it

Because happily deciding

It’s an Emily Dickinson dress

I unhappily had the penetrating realization that

I’m leading a lonely Emily Dickinson life

Newly-made spinster affectedly wearing white?

Uh uh

(Didn’t fight)


Hung it up and decided to

Continue being Chekhovian

Bought a black dress


In either color I’m in mourning for my life

But Masha was so much more exciting than Emily

I’ll opt for fiction anytime


© 1991, 2013 Madame Sosostris Explains (a poetry patchwork)

Image: Emily Dickinson’s Dress (Emily Dickinson Museum)




  1. I love the dress. I love vintage lingerie and try to collect them whenever they crop up. (Not that I have the assets to fill them). They make excellent gifts. I think that white is the perfect colour for slobs. It has a repellant effect on curry and yoghurt. Warm wishes for the last day of the year. xo

    Liked by 1 person

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