Stumbling around after an uncomfortable sleep,
to the closet I meander to get dressed for the day.
I finger each outfit, carefully… pondering what to wear.
The weather has turned chilly,
and I realize that suddenly, it is November.
All of the previous conversations
that I had with myself in the spring,
came flooding back to me as I came across the dress.
The dress that I promised myself to lose a few pounds before wearing,
so that we could go dancing again like we did last summer.
Oh, I lost them, alright, then gained them back times two.
You see, it was like summer never happened this year.
I began to think about all of the dresses
that didn’t get to be worn,
not just from my closet of silly excursions,
but also the important things.
My eyes grazed a black Ralph Lauren
that had been hanging there a year.
I should be preparing to wear that little raven dress
on stage for Christmas, as I did last year.
Alas… there will be no concert this winter.
I thought of all of the black dresses, then the men’s tuxedos,
the formal gowns that will not be worn in celebration or symphonies.
The thought of the tuxedo sparked the missed
moments that should have happened, my brother’s wedding, to
name one. I was so looking forward to the pomp and circumstance,
the festivities of watching my younger sibling get hitched.
Yet another moment put on hold.
The black dress also made me realize that there were funerals
I most likely would have attended, had things been “normal,”
had things been the way that they were “supposed” to be.
Moments that will never come again.
My children are growing so rapidly, and seemingly,
faster than ever this year.
I think of the uniforms that weren’t worn because the older two
didn’t get the chance to work their first summer jobs.
I think of the dances they didn’t get to dress up for,
or the sports teams they missed out on.
I think of the swimsuits that lay dry and unworn, and the pale
skin we all now wear.
Halloween costumes, not even taken from boxes,
or decorations for that matter, as we weren’t about to take any chances.
I can only pray that winter will go quickly,
that the pandemic will leave as abruptly as it came.
I can only hope that next summer, we can take full advantage
of our closets.
I can only hope, that we will still be around to be able to.
Some of us won’t.
Some of us will be emptying out closets of loved ones,
the dresses they will never wear again.
Some of us will never have the chance to watch our children grow up,
or watch loved ones get married, or hear them sing in a choir.
I haven’t stayed in this entire time out of fear, just so you are aware.
I stayed in because of love.
I stayed in because I wanted to keep my children safe, my husband safe…
I stayed in because it helped to keep you safe.
As for now, I don’t mind the dresses hanging in the closet…
because I have a future to look forward to.
I can only hope that it remains to be so in the coming months.
Is all of this inconvenient? Is it sad?
A little, but I would rather be a little bit sad and a tad
inconvenienced than to be mourning the loss of the people I love,
just because I wanted to wear that dress.