My Prom Dress is Growing Mold in My Mother’s Basement
and she doesn’t know it. She thinks she sealed it away, safe
wrapped in a black trash bag stuffed into a plastic
tote. But the lid got knocked off and moisture leaked
in and the light blue polyester is dotted with black
and gray patches. $75 off the JCPenney clearance
rack for my junior Prom because the full price dresses
were expensive and ugly anyway. I didn’t tell her I
cried in the dressing room
and wanted the green one instead.
The statue of Mary in her garden has tipped over, the
left hand shattered at the wrist where it hit a cinder block
paving stone. I wonder if my mother knows yet. It’s early spring
and she hasn’t started tending the flowers, but will
she see the Holy Mother and prop her up again? For $20
at Walmart, she could buy a new one whose hands are
intact and hasn’t been faded by years of weather. But $20
is $20 and the daylilies
will hide a missing hand.
Rowan Bagley (they/she) is the founder and Editor-in-Chief of Not Deer Magazine, an arts and literature magazine focusing on surrealist works by marginalized creators. Their work has been published by or is forthcoming in The West Review, Sandy River Review, Sage Cigarettes, Misplacement Magazine, littledeathlit, Pastel Pastoral, "Duplicitous" Anthology, and "HELL IS REAL" Anthology. She currently lives and works in Vermont with her partner, younger sibling, and two cats.