I Wore this Dress Today For You, Mom

I Wore this Dress Today For You, Mom

by Kim Dower
I Wore this Dress Today For You, Mom

I Wore this Dress Today For You, Mom

by Kim Dower


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Kim Dower’s poetry has been described by the Los Angeles Times as “sensual and evocative . . . seamlessly combining humor and heartache,” and by O Magazine as “unexpected and sublime.” Acclaimed for combining the accessible and profound, her poems about motherhood are some of her most moving and disarmingly candid. I Wore This Dress Today for You, Mom is an anthology of her poems on being a mother—childbirth to empty nest—as well as being a daughter with all the teenaged messiness, drama and conflict, to finally caring for one's mother suffering from dementia. Culled from her four collections as well as a selection of new work, these poems, heartbreaking, funny, surprising, and touching, explore the quirky, unexpected observations, and bittersweet moments mothers and daughters share. These evocative poems do not glorify mothers, but rather look under the hood of motherhood and explore the deep crevices and emotions of these impenetrable relationships: the love, despair, joy, humor and gratitude that fills our lives.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9781636280882
Publisher: Red Hen Press
Publication date: 06/07/2022
Pages: 128
Product dimensions: 6.00(w) x 9.00(h) x (d)

About the Author

Kim Dower, Former City Poet Laureate of West Hollywood, has published four highly acclaimed collections of poetry, including the Gold Ippy Award winning collection Sunbathing on Tyrone Power’s Grave. She has been nominated for four Pushcarts, is widely anthologized, and teaches writing workshops for Antioch University, the West Hollywood Library, and UCLA Writer’s Extension. She resides in West Hollywood, California.

Read an Excerpt

I wore this dress today for you, mom,

breezy floral, dancing with color soft, silky, flows as I walk.
Easter Sunday, and you always liked

to get dressed, go for brunch, maybe there’s a good movie playing somewhere?
Wrong religion, we were not churchgoers,

but New Yorkers who understood the value of a parade down Fifth Avenue, bonnets in lavender, powder blues, pinks, hues

of spring, the hope it would bring.
We had no religion, but we did have noodle kugel, grandparents, dads

who could fix fans, reach the china on the top shelf, carve the turkey.
That time has passed. You were the last

to go, mom, and I still feel bad I never got dressed up for you like you wanted me to.
I had things, things to do. But today in LA,

hot the way you liked it—those little birds you loved to see flitting from tree to tree—
just saw one, a twig in its mouth, preparing

a bed for its baby—might still be an egg,
I wish you were here. I’ve got a closet filled with dresses I need to show you.

Table of Contents

She's never trusted happiness 15

Different Mothers 16

I wore this dress today for you, mom, 18

Letter to My Son 20

Dubonnet 21

Game Over 22

Clive Christian No. 1 24

Goodbye to James Garner 26

No One Bleeds Forever 27

Birth 28

Pregnant 30

The things I do in my car 31

The Couple Next Door 34

Sardines 36

Everybody Loves Dinner 38

My Mother Has a Fitful Sleep 40

My Mother Wants Extra Crisp Bacon 42

Gail Explains about My Mother's Glasses 44

Bottled Water 46

Lunch with Gloria 48

The Salvation Army Won't Take the Futon 49

Board and Care Clock 50

I Lost My Mother at Bloomingdale's 51

The People in the Health Food Store 52

Slice of Moon 54

Dying is Not Black, 56

The Delivery Man 57

Solace 58

Little Glass Dishes 60

How was your weekend, 62

The Gene 64

Easter Sunday 66

Visiting Eleanor 67

Sleep Over 68

They Only Want Meatloaf 70

There will be things you do 71

Minor Tremors 74

Self-Portrait with Imaginary Brother 76

Mother's Day 77

As long as my mother keeps getting mail 78

Time of Arrival 79

Thirst 80

My Mother Bakes Sugar Cookies 82

Why We Dream 83

We Took Off in the Snow 84

Alternative Flute 86

Huge Rat in Laundry Room 88

Extraction 89

Progress 90

We are like no one else in the world, 92

Late September 94

Daughter Suspects Dead Mother of Stealing Her Shoes 96

Would you donate your brain to science, 97

Cranky in Paradise 98

While Washing the Dinner Dishes 100

Scrambling Eggs 102

Fontanelle 103

Boob fob 106

Thanking My Breasts 108

Damage 110

Gift Cabinet 112

Hands 114

Tell Me 116

After the Rain 118

What We Leave Behind 119

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