The autumn he died
I dressed in worn out
black. Like an outlaw’s
widow I said.
A sheer cotton skirt
I had intended as
a petticoat.
A pullover top from Goodwill.
I wore boots to make my
walk harder.
To toughen my stance
with the world.

He died in late October,
I kept wearing the same
outfit as often as possible
well into the next spring.
Spring always changes
my sense of color.

Now the shirt is paint stained
and it seems to take old photos,
or poetry,
to remind me of him.
There is a gap in the cloth
at the waistband of the skirt
where the elastic shows
through. A bleached spot
at the hem.
I do not hang it up,
but tie it in a knot
and throw it on the shelf,
each toss a declaration
that I have not ironed
nor folded, nor worried over.
In at least this one bit,
I have outwitted life.