I go to my small town’s lone department store
to shop for the perfect dress to wear to Mom’s
impending funeral. Best be ready.
Each black dress looked ready for a cocktail party
or a political rally. Besides,
I already own three black dresses — all hers.
I can’t wear those.
My kids are set:
A formal band outfit suits my son,
A dress for the cast photo dresses my daughter.
My husband needs no one to dress him.
We all have Sunday shoes
though we can’t seem to make it to church anymore.
Then a dress catches my eye:
lace bodice, swoopy skirt. Brown
the color of Mom’s morning lattés
the color of the soil around her impatiens
the color of her Cadillac, the one Dad calls the color of dirt
The cashier announces the store is closing.
Mom would want me to wait
until her perfect dress goes on sale.