What To Wear

Standing in front of my dresser,
cozy in my pink pajamas,
flannel and fluffy and covered with owls.
What to wear today?

I hate my clothes.
I blame them all.

Concealing clothes:
Empire waists and sloppy Ts
used to hide my belly.
I was not ready
to speak of it.
I might call down The End
As if a monstrous fate
lay in wait,
listening for the announcement.

Finally my rounded middle announced for me.
The time had come for hope.
Take a deep breath and slide on
the Hopeful clothes:
Roomier cuts,
pleats, ruching, and tucks
designed to expand
along with me,
fat and happy.
Elastic waist bands meant to grow,
one month from the bag and back they go.

I shrivel,
physically and mentally,
into the Skinny clothes.
I shudder as they skim my hips.
The zipper zips.
The button fits.
Everything just so.
But no.
It should not be!
These are the clothes that ought to be packed,
Shoved to the back.
A heartening promise:
Someday I’ll be small again.
Not a cruel taunt:
I cannot grow big with Life.

And there’s no one to blame.
Not doctor, husband, priest or God.
Not even myself although I’ve tried.
Nothing to be done.
Nothing left to say.

And so I’ll blame my clothes.
My flannel owls and I
Stay curled up at home another day.



Filed under Motherhood, Our Family, poetry, Stillbirth and Miscarriage

3 responses to “What To Wear

  1. Ashley Scrivener

    You have an amazing way with words, Cait! Thank you for sharing this. Praying for you all!

  2. Oh this makes me cry! And I know all about being a pajama queen…stupid clothes reminding you of what is lost….after I lost Josephine I also felt so shrivelled and empty…my milk came in and almost made me burst, but hen faded away into nothingness…empty like my heart. It is 3 days until her September 30th anniversary of birth/death. I’ll be thinking of you in my pain, and sending you love.

  3. Dom Sayler

    Words cannot describe the sadness I feel with you. I am heartbroken yet still whole because you are sharing something unspoken and indescribable. Never forget how strong you are. Never forget the optimism of your freshman year of college and try to keep that feeling with you. God takes our tragedies and in his wisdom balances our lives.

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