Brown Taffeta


I’m standing on the table
in Grandmother’s dining room,
so they can pin the hem.
“Doris, turn,” say Georgie and Ruby,
again and again and again.
Sometimes a pin pricks me.

My mother’s younger sisters are making
dresses and coats for me
out of their old ones.
When I go to Sunday School,
I feel so dressed up in my Mary Janes
and a maroon coat cut from one of theirs,
with its black velvet collar.

But my very favorite is the swishy
striped brown taffeta dress
sewn from Aunt Georgie’s skirt.
Even when they take my picture,
I hold up a corner of the hem to
make my cheek happy.





  1. What a beautiful legacy you are passing on sharing these memories! It is tragic to lose our life stories and those of the people we love…it is so much a part of us. My children love to hear stories of the ‘old days’. I think we all do. The times change, but people do not change so much. They fall in love, they pursuit their passions, they make the best of their situation, come what may. And that is why other people’s life stories are so interesting…they mirror some of our own experiences.

    • Bless you, Linda. My great grandmother lived until I was a freshman in college. How I wish I’d thought to ask her questions about the “old days”–she was born in a log cabin here in Iowa not long after the Civil War!

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