War Poet.ca - A CFAP Project by Suzanne Steele

Dress (from May Day)

another letter from the fictional May Day


merci, merci. mon beau. ami. une robe, une jolie robe d’Afghanistan. where. how. when. did you find it. and the time to send it? I’m breath…


and it fits. so gorgeous. long sleeves. the embroidery. hours and hours and hours of some woman’s time. tell me, tell me, who sold it to you? so old. antique. silver threads. did you get it at KAF. Saturday market? I love it M, I love it. I’m thrilled! I can’t wait to wear it for you.

I had a dress kind of like it. once. I was just a little kid. a friend of my mom’s. one of those western hippy guys. crossed Afghanistan on a rented camel. made the pilgrimage. the old silk road. 1972. a few years before I was born. gave the dress to her for the child she would someday have.

“S,” my mom told me, “T used to drop in on me from time to time when he’d blow into town. always brought me something interesting. something fun. bells from India. cinnamon from Sri Lanka. once, an Afghani guy he’d met on the silk road…”

she’d laugh. get that nostalgic look on her face. for the 1960’s, the 1970’s. her golden age. anyway, M, I digress.

when I showed it to J, he said, “it’s really weird S. the burka babes. dress head to ankle in a blue curtain. a screen across their eyes to keep you from seeing their pupils. but on their feet. amazing shoes. stilettos. heels of every shape. every kind. and little glimpses of incredible silk. dresses. gorgeous. catches a man’s imagination.”

and I’d love to see it M. Afghanistan. without Kalashnikovs. RPGs. IEDs. without FOBs and ISAF. without war. and sorrow. and mayhem.

and I dream about it sometimes. valleys. soft folds of mountains. rivers. orchards of pomegranates. fields of grapes. vined. and mulberry trees. wild roses. and walled gardens. yes, I dream about it M. Afghanistan. want to walk it someday. border to border. unafraid. meet her people. meet the woman who took needle. worked cloth and silk thread. to make the beautiful dress you sent.

maybe when it’s all over M. and I’m not too old. maybe I’ll walk the whole country like I walked Spain last year, maybe I’ll walk it, left right left,

with you M, promise me. you will. if you can.


About This Page

The page you're reading contains a single diary entry entitled Dress (from May Day). It was posted here on January 11, 2009.


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