Anne and I wore our red velvet dresses
and the Christmas corsages Dad brought home
in boxes and put in the refrigerator until today
when they were pinned on our winter wool coats.
We walk in the store filled with music, and there it is–
the escalator, my favorite part.
I bend down, touch the shiny ridges
of the moving stairs. The hem of my dress
is snagged at the top. My father grabs
my waist with both hands, yanks me back.
The dress rips a jagged bite, the velvet one
my mom finished that morning, making me
stand too long, her sitting on the floor with pins
in her mouth, saying, Turn, just a little
without moving her lips, that dress – ruined.
I cry for both of us.
Sarah Dickenson Snyder has been writing poetry since she knew there was a form with conscious line breaks. She has been an English teacher for many years, a mother for several, and student and participant in poetry workshops, classes, and writing conferences. She was lucky to be a part of the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference and to have had several poems published in magazines, journals, and book anthologies. Recently, two poems received recognition: the Goldstein Memorial Award and the Marian Gleason Memorial Award from the Poetry Society of Vermont.