You turn, turn, turn as the seamstress pins lace
onto the perfect hem of your wedding dress.
You turn on command. Reflected over and over
in the mirrored room you surround us.
“Fits like a glove,” the seamstress says,
then crowns you with flowers
silk and braided pearls, a froth of veil
softens your wild, loose hair.
Somewhere in the shop your father waits.
Since you asked him to come
that he should see you this way
before the wedding.
How wise of you to think of him.
But he’s distracted now
browsing in this sanctum of romance
among the marabou and satin
garters and glittering inefficient purses
perfumes and flimsy negligees
fake pearls and plumed pens, all that
until you call for him.
He makes his way through a cumulus of gowns
floating from the ceiling, spectral
lace and tulle brushing his cheeks as he passes
In the mirrored room you turn
for your father, spinning
the room is full of you
he doesn’t know where to look.
© Fran Podulka, 1999
This poem originally appeared in Willow Review (Spring 1999) and was reprinted in the Chicago Tribune on April 11, 2003 in honor of Poetry Month.
Fran Podulka writes fiction and poetry. Her novel The Wonder Jungle (Putnam, 1973) won awards from the Society of Midland Authors and Friends of Literature. Of it, Kirkus Reviews wrote, “One of those infrequent books with all the right instincts and a true touch — for anyone, any age.”
She has published a poetry collection Essentials (Lake Shore Publishing, 1989) and has had work in Spoon River Poetry Review, Explorations, Snowy Egret and many other publications. For many years she was an Associate Editor of Rhino.
Thanks to Fran Podulka for letting me share her poem.