Emma Kindall

her dress, her dress, my dress

This is a dress made by my grandmother, worn by my mother, taken by my grandmother, taken by my mother, taken by me, worn by me.

When my mom left home, she left behind the dress. When I came back home, I took it. I keep it in my filing cabinet. In my filing cabinet it is untended and unharmed. The dress is a reminder of her, but also the lack of her. One month ago, I took the dress from its drawer and smoothed it out on my floor. Each day I fill the thread bare gaps with white paint. It’s stronger now, like, I can hit it and it will make a noise. It made me feel something between guilt and nothing. It made me clench my teeth. I drew a new pattern, redrew an old pattern. I stitched it back together where it was torn.

My grandma made this dress for my mom, she took it from my mom, she cared for it in a closet when my mom went away. My mom took the dress, she left it in a closet when she went away. I took the dress. I kept it in a filing cabinet. I touched it once in a while, hung it on a wall once. On a bad day I dragged the dress out of my filing cabinet, I treated it with tenderness and affection. Through clenched teeth, I bestowed upon it a benediction. It’s hard, like a rock, like when you hit it will make a sound.

Running on Cargo