Orange for Good Luck

Seven years ago, my poem about an orange dress won Honorable Mention in the annual William Carlos Williams Poetry Contest for medical students organized by the Northeastern Ohio Universities Colleges of Medicine and Pharmacy. (It also closes out my poetry chapbook, Tools for Survival.) I distinctly remember writing it; it was one of those poems that just flowed out of me, already formed. I was studying for Step One of the US Medical Licensing Exam, and trying to make the best of that pressured month by bringing my books out on the patio to sit in the sun. Wearing a flowing orange sundress seemed like it would help, too.

I’m wearing it again as we’re about to board a plane, our first time flying with both boys, now ages 3 and 1. I still love it and its breezy comfort and cheerfulness seem like good ingredients to mix into this adventure. Here’s hoping it carries some good karma for a smooth (and well-behaved!) flight.


Ode to an Orange Dress

See how it flows

part goddess, part boho


See what it makes me do – impromptu trip

out West,

spill my heart

to a stranger on

the subway

after she said

she liked the color

Skirt dances around

my legs even when

the wind dies

I’d take it to heaven

if I could

but no, better leave it

help someone else

do some living




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