The collar is streaked in back, a badge of failure, but not hers— she only bought the dress today at a rummage sale. Now she sees what comes of bringing home strays with their histories of use and disappointment. It was the cloth that moved her, a pattern of faded flowers like violets overcome by heat, but in her hands the dress folds over on itself as though concealing a greater shame. Holding it gingerly, she turns on the washer and quickly tosses it in, then inspects a pair of candlesticks unearthed at the same event, globs of red wax clinging to them like a pestilence.
About the Author
Dori Appel’s poems have been widely published in magazines and anthologies, as well as in her collection of poems, Another Rude Awakening. A playwright as well as a poet, she is the author of many published plays and monologues, and was the winner of the Oregon Book Award in Drama in 1998, 1999, and 2001. Visit her website at www.doriappel.com.