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.