In Rich’s

by Anne Waters Green

I wanted the purple velvet dress
but Mama was thrifty, said
it cost too much.
Only eleven, still I knew it was true.
The rich velvet frock with the snowy white yoke
and creamy pearl buttons
cost too much.

I remember what happened next.
She stopped, plundered in her worn purse
for a scrap of paper, a pencil.
Right there in Rich’s,
she drew a picture of that dress.
Did we buy luscious velvet, crisp white eyelet,
luminous buttons that day?
I do not know.

But I do know someone sewed a dress
just like the deep purple dress
that cost too much.

A dress for me.

Anne Waters Green is a retired attorney and administrative judge who now lives on Mount Hebron in Henderson County with her husband, Jim, who also writes.

About In Rich’s—My happiest school days were spent memorizing poetry in Mr. Richardson's ninth grade class and listening to Miss Wilds, my senior English teacher, read “L'Allegro” and “Il Penseroso.” I am elated to be writing poetry instead of briefs and decisions.