Yes. For our dinner date, I'm wearing
an embroidered skirt: hand-woven, blue
as cornflowers, with white daisies stitched
in vertical rows, a family heirloom purchased
by a cousin of a cousin, repeatedly re-gifted
until it came to lucky me. Yes, the waistband
is tight. Its pleats emphasize my tummy's mound
in a way that resembles the swell of yeasted dough
in a bread pan. Do you remember the last time
I called? You hung up. Sure, it was 6 AM,
but I wanted to talk about us. Since then I've gained
a friend. She won't give her name but calls
the landline to ask about my love life.
It's wrong to lie, but I embellish,
just to hear the pickaxe in her voice.
Odd, all the flattering clothing I own,
the stretchy things that glide over my curves,
have disappeared into the arcane recesses
of my closet. This skirt was all that I could find.
And for that reason, no, I can't change
into anything more suitable for our date.
Sorry. But go ahead, have dinner
without me. When she calls,
I'll tell her where she can find you.
by Peggy Turnbull
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Peggy Turnbull enjoys living in Manitowoc, Wisconsin, a corner of the Rust Belt where cheese, bratwurst, and beer remain economic powerhouses. A retired university librarian, she finds poems among the algae and alewives of Lake Michigan's shore. Read her work at: peggyturnbull.blogspot.com