On the Day My Bridal Dress Goes to Goodwill                                                                                                                                                                                       by Shuly Xóchitl Cawood

I kept it twenty-two years in my childhood closet,
shoving it aside when I visited my parents
to make room for a purple hoodie, a long-sleeved
blue sweater, a pair of jeans
folded on a metal hanger. I wanted the dress
to go to someone young I would surely find
who could not yet afford a fancy frock,
who could not afford lace edgings
or capped sleeves, who could not afford
to divorce because surely someone else
would have better luck in that dress if I just found
the right person. But anyone knows that luck
is what you get when you stop looking, when you stumble
upon it on the far side of a thrift store rack
hanging there as if it has nowhere to go but home
with you, as if it’s been waiting all along,
tucked into a plastic bag that knows how to zip
up its secrets. Luck is almost the same
thing as hope, just a little less shiny,
a little less white.

Shuly Xóchitl Cawood is the author of The Going and Goodbye: a memoir and the story collection, A Small Thing to Want. Her poetry collection, Trouble Can Be So Beautiful at the Beginning, won the Adrienne Bond Award for Poetry.

Guest Editor Julie Ramon is an English instructor at Crowder College and SNHU. She graduated with an M.F.A from Spalding University in Louisville, Kentucky. She is currently working on two poetry chapbooks and serves as a co-director of Downtown Poetry, a Joplin, Missouri poetry series. She lives in Joplin with her husband, daughter, and sons.


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