Tuesday, July 20, 2021

The sundress

I rarely wear dresses. They are for special occasions only. These days of retirement and pandemic, hanging around the house day in and day out - ha! Dresses have been absolutely nonexistent in my life. Yesterday, on yet another quiet, happy day at home with my husband, I decided to wear a sundress. Who knows why? Some combination of summer weather and being tired of wearing the same clothes. I wish you could have seen my husband's look of surprise! So funny. He had forgotten I even owned the dress - I had not worn it in over three years. In fact, I'd only ever worn it once...

...which sent us down memory lane, and I landed in this free verse poem:

yesterday, I wore my sundress, 
this lovely sundress
bought three years ago 
our 30th anniversary trip 
to Costa Rica

yes, I wore it 
on this marvelous day 
of adventure
where we walked 
and walked 
and walked 

yes, I wore it
to find the bus stop 
near our cottage
down, down, down this long hill
past the simple homes 
of metal and wood 
so much green
so many flowers
gorgeous hills in the distance

yes, I wore it 
on the hot bus, 
sticky and full 
with so many beautiful locals 
a sense of their lives
their dailyness
their kindness
their joy

yes, I wore it 
to the town of Sarchi
where bright and beautiful 
wood oxcarts are made 
where we stood in the park 
eating yummy greasy 
chicken and yucca fries 
where we wandered 
the small shops and vendors 
searching for 
who knows what 
to treasure
where we heard the solitary guitar 
where we felt 
the beautiful breezes and 
the gentle sunshine

yes, I wore it 
back to Grecia, 
where we got lost 
searching for a bus 
to take us back up that hill
where locals at the gas station 
saw the confusion in our eyes
offered just enough 
sweet caring English
to insist on driving us 
to the bus station
so we jumped in their car 
our hearts full of trust

yes, I wore it 
as we drove
squished in 
beside two unknown others
in the backseat 
of a tiny old car
quickly quickly quickly 
across town
where we hugged goodbye
our dear old friends  
of five minutes

yes, I wore it 
as we ran 
jumped onto the departing bus
back up the long long long hill
where this time we knew
there was a closer stop 
an easier walk 
to our cottage

yes, I wore it 
returning to our home 
away from home
knowing so much more 
love and beauty
yesterday, I wore my sundress
and went back in time


It's Tuesday and I am participating in the
Thank you, Two Writing Teachers, for nurturing teacher-writers!


  1. It is amazing how things evoke memories. I think that is why we, and I mean "I" find it difficult to streamline the house. Everything we pick up reminds us of something from the past and it is hard to let it go.

  2. I love your description of the day and your line "yes, I wore it" to tie to all together. Fun post!

  3. Thank you for the trip to Costa Rica. The pictures enhanced the journey and your writing. I always like when writing ends how it began.

  4. What a lovely way to recall your beautiful memories of your trip. Objects do hold memories and I love how your dress brought back yours. Great poem.

  5. I love the repetition and hearing about the day you wore that sundress. What a special poem.

  6. Maureen, thanks for the virtual tour of Costa Rica. I laughed when you spoke about not wearing dresses. Pandemic life did this to all of us but you broke the norm with your dress that shocked your husband. I like the religion in your story poem and hoe one dress that brought many memories back.

  7. “The dress remembers when…” reminds me of the song “the song remembers when.” I love your walk down memory lane and yet I feel like I’m right there with you in a whole new experience, eating the chicken and looking for the bus. I love poems of place - places in time, places in location - and you write of both so beautifully.

  8. The dress took us on such an incredible and beautiful adventure! The line quickly quickly quickly had me zooming along with you and then the hugs goodbye! Love it

  9. Maureen, what a beautiful memory of your 30th anniversary. I'm so glad you got it out and wore it again this week. That was so special. My favorite part was the new friends who helped you get to the bus station and then you hugged them as you said goodbye. That said so much about the culture and people who were your hosts on this special vacation. And how they "offered just enough / sweet caring English"

    Love this post!