Colleen Thibaudeau’s In which I put on my mother’s old thé dansant dress

Colleen Thibaudeau’s In which I put on my mother’s old thé dansant dress

Inwhich I Put On My Mother’s Old Thé Dansant Dress

“Yes,” said Janos, “you can put on a costume!”
So I go for a favourite, my mother’s old thé dansant dress
(black georgette and hand-made lace). When I was a child
I looked through snowy windows, seeing her leave
for “Tea For Two.” Leaves whirled, the hem dragged
in the mud when granddaughters sortied out for Hallowe’en;
and then I rescued, laundered, aired, and pressed
(black georgette and hand-made lace). Now it’s a humid Sunday
in the scorching summer of ’88. Jamie retreats to the doorway.
Janos, taking the photos, says, “Nearly done now.”
I think, my whole life-span is in this dress.
And, as I strew these words,
rose petals are falling from the matching hat she made.

Colleen Thibaudeau, 1988

Colleen’s poem appears in The Artemesia Book (1991), available from Brick Books.

 

Colleen Thibaudeau in her mother's old the dansant dress, at her home in London, Ontario, 1999. Photo by Janos.

Colleen Thibaudeau in her mother’s old thé dansant dress, at her home in London, Ontario, 1988. Photo by Janos.

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