The Gown

It sat in the attic for years/ she unwrapped the box, anticipating

fabric, now ivory-yellow, and elastic crunchy with age / the gown

her mother had helped her choose it/ known from photographs

she had felt like a Renaissance lady/ slightly off-kilter

memories of a day long ago/ thoughts of the day to come

I give you my love, he said/  waiting for the moment

a vow made/ love ever after

for a man and a woman/ a daughter, now a wife

Love is love/ Love is love


Brides and sisters


Marian Beaman of Plain and Fancy Girl wrote about a dress she had with a secret. You can read about it here. She challenged me to use the word “dress” as a writing prompt. I took the challenge, changed dress to gown, and wrote a cleave poem. Each side is a separate poem, and read together, there’s a third poem. My older daughter wore what had been my wedding gown when she married her wife almost two years ago. It’s now “our gown.” On their wedding days, both daughters wore the same necklace I wore when I got married.

30 thoughts on “The Gown

  1. How romantic 🙂 And the cleave works so well with this subject. I remember finding the cream silk suit my mother made for her wedding, wrapped in tissue paper in a drawer and thinking it was for a child. I was probably about ten at the time. Shows how tiny she was!

  2. I too had never heard of a cleave poem. At first, I thought, since this was a wedding gown poem, that cleave referred to Genesis 2 in the King James. King James Bible
    Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.
    Or else to décolletage. I remember a joke from a conservative minister: “what we need in weddings is more cleave-age and less leave-age.”

    But enough silliness. I love this post. Beautiful photos. And really clever double poem about two wonderful daughters and their spouses. Mazel tov!

    • Thank you, Shirley. That’s so funny about “cleave.” It’s unlikely that you’d find me quoting Genesis or a conservative minister. 🙂
      The poem is actually about me and our older daughter. She wore my wedding gown. But we all wore the same wedding necklace (and my niece wore it, too). I had forgotten to add that my younger daughter used some lace from my veil to trim the fan she made to carry when she got married last year.
      You can search for more cleave poems on my site.

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