She wanted only perfect clothes from her past:
Florida florals or pastels, simple blouses
and pants, all easy care. Nothing dressy.
Away from Florida for five years, she wore
her old clothes all seasons. Sweaters if needed.
She hardly ever kept new clothes I bought her,
but when I gave her something of mine,
she kept it. My new gray sweater with black trim
looked elegant with her perfectly coifed hair.
Complimented her slim black pants. Accented
the chickadee she’d painted on her green blouse.
That sweater followed Mom to the hospital.
She wore it in bed over a favorite summer blouse.
After she died, I couldn’t throw her sweater away.
Hoping it attractive enough — I wore it to a brunch.
Oh, remarked my hostess, what a beautiful sweater!
− Marilyn Marsh Noll
Marilyn Marsh Noll is the author of a full-length poetry book, Ordinary Tasks, published last May by MadBooks (Pittsburgh). Her chapbook, Thirteen Ways of Looking at Bones, won the Pennsylvania Poetry Society Chapbook Award in 2007. Her children’s book, Jonathan and the Flying Broomstick (Sunlight and Shadow Press), was published in 2010. Her poems have appeared in the Comstock Review, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, Potter’s Wheel, Voices From the Attic and elsewhere. She lives in O’Hara Township.