Today's poem is by Maria Mazziotti Gillan


At my bridal shower, someone gave me
a pink see-through nightgown and pink satin
slippers with slender heels and feathers.
The gown had feathers on it, too.

I've always hated my legs and even then,
when I was still thin and in good shape,
I didn't want to wear that nightgown
or slippers, didn't want to parade

in front of you like some pinup.
But I wore them anyway, all those negligees
I got as shower presents, sleazy nylon
I didn't know was tacky. When I wore

sporty nightgowns, I'd leap into bed
not wanting you to notice how
the nightgown revealed what I thought
my biggest flaw. In all the young years

of our marriage, I wore a different nightgown
every night, not that it stayed on for long,
and afterward I'd pull it back on, not wanting
our children to see me naked in our bed.

I felt so sophisticated in those nightgowns,
like the ones Doris Day wore in movies.
Only years later, when my daughter buys me
a nightgown made of soft and smooth blue silk,

do I realize that the first ones I owned
were imitations of this one
I hold now to my cheek, grateful
to have been once so young,

to have loved you in nylon and silk
and in my own incredible skin.

Copyright © 2007 Maria Mazziotti Gillan All rights reserved
from New Letters
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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