Breath & Shadow
A Journal of Disability Culture and LiteratureFall 2016
By Jennifer Gifford
I remember how it felt to disappear
Into the past of grandma’s closet.
My dressing room.
The smell of White Linen
Hanging thick in the air.
Slipping on arm length gloves, faded with age.
Satin bags from the thirties hid the chunky costume
Jewelry I laced over fingers, wrists, and neck.
So beautifully gaudy and ornate.
Getting lost in the waves of heavy taffeta and linens
Because she came from the Great Depression, and never
Threw anything away.
I remember thinking how beautifully tragic that sounded,
And being seven years old, I didn’t know any better.
Strands of pink and white pearls, rows of silk scarves.
Big rimmed hats with lazy gauze covers, true hallmarks of what my wild mind associated with lady.
Dozens of old hat boxes that kept my dress up clothes, dressing up
In her past.
I played in her memories, grabbing an old tarnished sliver plated hairbrush,
Singing to an unknown audience, and for a brief moment, I was her.
I was Florence Grey.
And the world was my stage.
Jennifer Gifford has always had a fascination with the dark and humorous side of fiction. She hates creepy old dolls, spiders, and garden gnomes. She has been previously published in Danse Macabre,Mysteryauthors.com, and M-Brane’s Science Fiction Magazine. Her latest work can also be found at Dunsteef audio fiction, and recently by Atoh Press. She is currently Senior Editor at Bete Noire Magazine. Jennifer, who suffers from PCOS, has grown to love her role as advocate to bring awareness to the shame and pain involved with PCOS.