Judith Prest

Wardrobe Alchemy

     for my mother

It is bold, her dress: eye-grabbing yellow

on top, dotted with black, billowing

black skirt pools below the waist, swirls

from hips to calf, flowing around her

as she steps from the trolley to the street,

into the bank, out to lunch


Silky folds slither along the sidewalk,

slide through subway turnstiles,

splashes of yellow and black sashay

down Broad Street


She sheds all traces of joyless

duty, slips right past

her mother’s pointed finger,

predictions of ruin and calamity—she

will dance, will smoke, will play cards,

drink beer in speakeasies—temperance,

corsets and constraints be damned


In her yellow and black dress

she’ll stride across borders, over

the edge of her known world,

breaking trail for me


Judith Prest, is a poet, collage artist, creativity coach and holds a certificate in Expressive Art Therapy from New York Expressive Arts Studio in Albany, NY.   A published poet, her work has appeared in several anthologies and literary journals. Her latest book, Late Day Light, a full length poetry collection, came out in June 2011.  Since her retirement from her school social work job in June 2009, she has focused on her “real work” – creativity coaching, writing poetry & making art (including SoulCollage®) in prisons, community agencies, retreat centers and other venues. Judith lives Duanesburg.

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