Red Dress - Baltimore Post-ExaminerBaltimore Post-Examiner

Red Dress

Every tree needs a red dress
in autumn, a crisp fire-red,
fashion statement at November’s Ball,
a party in country fields
fueled by apples, cold cider in cups.
 
Every woman owns at least
one red dress, its sensual fabric
as much as the color
luring her into sin—even the hem
 
caught in a fever too quick
to quench.. That crimson dress
slinking toward the midnight hour,
bold enough to act on its own.
 
Stories spring from taffeta and tulle,
the daring bodice, an army of sequins
storming Paradise
beneath the hunter-green moon.
 
Kiss the woman, love the dress,
rake the excess, leave it.
This season, a poem-in-progress,
a photograph—what the shutter saw
 
before the sun chose to set. Star.
Always red. Remember the red.

Inspired by “A Sugar Maple Tree on Saint Paul Street” ©Bill Hughes


About the author

Shirley J. Brewer

Shirley J. Brewer is a poet, educator, and workshop facilitator. She recently served as poet-in-residence at Carver Center for the Arts and Technology in Baltimore County. Shirley teaches poetry in two after-school creativity programs for middle school students. Her poems appear in The Cortland Review, Innisfree Poetry Journal, Evening Street Review, Pearl, Comstock Review, Passager, Manorborn, and other journals. Her poetry books include: A Little Breast Music, published in 2008 by Passager Books, and After Words, published in 2013 by Apprentice House. After Words is a series of elegiac poems honoring the memory of Stephen B. Pitcairn, a 23-year-old breast-cancer researcher murdered in the Baltimore community of Charles Village on July 25, 2010. Contact the author.
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