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Mending life's tattered dress: a poem

Updated on August 12, 2013
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When a lady puts on a dress, it can tell us quite a few things about life. What can dresses represent? Looking forward to your views!


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A tattered dress

Choking, shredded, ill-fitting

Too-high collar strangles

A wearer’s nightmare


Ragged material

Disquieting, disconcerting

Torn, ripped, seams spilt in anger

Repulsive, revolting



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Tawdry cloth, inferior

Garments too unsightly to behold

But when broken seams are restored

Exquisite threads unfold


Set hands can tailor

A mangled frock, not hemmed;

Delicate stitches, sewn with care

It becomes a gown, again


Re-stitch the broken seams

And fettered hems, that tease

A well-worn frock is now

Cinderella's gown, to please.


Copyright (C) by Michelle Liew Tsui-LIn

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    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, Rebecca, it's all in the attitude....we can fix what we pretty much want to! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      That's exactly what life is....starts, stops and starting over. Thanks for sharing, Who!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      That's exactly it, Mary. We can pretty much pull ourselves together if only we want to! Thanks for sharing!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      5 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Mary. Yes, it is up to us to mend that dress, or to let it lay tattered and torn! Thanks for sharing!

    • rebeccamealey profile image

      Rebecca Mealey 

      5 years ago from Northeastern Georgia, USA

      Nice! To me, it means that we can often "fix" situations that we though were impossible to fix.

    • whonunuwho profile image

      whonunuwho 

      5 years ago from United States

      I am a fan of yours, my friend, and your comparison of the tattered dress may well refer to our lives and how we may take what we have and make the most of it, having to start over again when it is called for. Thanks for the nice lesson in our lives. whonu

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      5 years ago from New York

      While the dress can be mended and restored to its natural beauty, so can we....we can pull ourselves up and like Cinderella live happily ever after.

      Well done my friend.

      Voted up, beautiful, and interesting.

    • mary615 profile image

      Mary Hyatt 

      5 years ago from Florida

      You have such a wonderful way with words! Yes, it is our choice whether to leave our dress all tattered and torn or to mend it and begin all over again.

      This is just another "gem" in your portfolio of work.

      Voted Up and shared.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Janine and girls! I"m a Cinderella fan myself. Watched it several times together with Snow White!! LOL! Yep, clothes represent our lives....and it's our choice if we want to mend the tattered clothes we wear and turn them into a gown...or let them remain tattered!! Cheers, my friend!

    • Janine Huldie profile image

      Janine Huldie 

      6 years ago from New York, New York

      What a clever way to explain what we wear explains what clothing means to us. I truly loved how you weaved Cinderella into this. A side note, my girls are huge fans of Cinderella and when they saw me reading this got so very excited. Have voted up, shared and tweeted too!!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, Mary, clothes are likened to life and our appearance means a lot to those who meet us as well. Thanks for the affirmation, and it really means a lot to be affirmed by you!! Thanks for coming by!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Docmo, I really appreciate the affirmation!! It really means a lot that you like it. Thanks so much for the vote and share!!

    • tillsontitan profile image

      Mary Craig 

      6 years ago from New York

      How beautifully you 'explained' what clothing means to us and those that meet us. You always 'paint' such lovely poems!

      Voted up, beautiful and awesome.

    • Docmo profile image

      Mohan Kumar 

      6 years ago from UK

      An excellent lyrical metaphor.. beautifully observed and written. You have great poetic talent Michelle. voted up and shared!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, girshpuri! Yes, indeed, it's the clothes which can make us, but we have the power to decide that! Thanks for coming by!

    • girishpuri profile image

      Girish puri 

      6 years ago from NCR , INDIA

      An excellent share and i agree a dress can make a woman look nice or bad, voted up.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      MHatter, congrats to you and Arlene! And yes, it all depends on whether you want to make it work! So right, it is very hard work! Thanks for dropping in!

    • Mhatter99 profile image

      Martin Kloess 

      6 years ago from San Francisco

      So right! Arlene and I were a "fairy tale" in the end. Everyone wanted to be like us. But oh, the stitches that kept our marriage alive.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks for stopping by, Vellur!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Hi Keith, thanks for coming by! Yes, the clothes we wear can either hold us back, strangle us or we can decide to do something about it and live beyond that! Thanks so much, I really appreciate it!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      It definitely does, Real Housewife! And we can have lots of say about what it says! Really appreciate you dropping in, and this comment itself deserves a big vote!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      rcrumple, thanks for stopping by and for the more spot on insights! Yes. it is up to us to make the most of the challenges we face and turn them into a gown - or leave it as a tattered dress! Thanks so much!

    • Vellur profile image

      Nithya Venkat 

      6 years ago from Dubai

      Beautifully expressed, enjoyed reading. Voted up.

    • profile image

      KDuBarry03 

      6 years ago

      "A tattered dress...Choking, shredded, ill-fitting...Too-high collar strangles...A wearer’s nightmare" This stanza standout brilliantly to me. You definitely have the gift of poetry, Michelle :) Keep it up!

    • RealHousewife profile image

      Kelly Umphenour 

      6 years ago from St. Louis, MO

      Hi Michelle! I really enjoyed this and yes you are so right - a dress says a lot about the wearer:) LOVED it!

    • rcrumple profile image

      Rich 

      6 years ago from Kentucky

      The clothes we wear display our intent and attitude. Not literally, but as life is filled with multiple challenges, we have to prepare ourselves to face them in the best manner possible. Our mental state determines which direction we travel to overcome adversity or take advantage of opportunity.

      Great Job!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Yes, it does indeed.And we're in complete control over those things Josh! Thanks for the constant support!

    • josh3418 profile image

      Joshua Zerbini 

      6 years ago from Pennsylvania

      Michelle,

      Very well done here my friend! Cleverly put together! Your poems are inspirations to me Michelle! I think what we wear tells so many things about us, like for instance, our character, our mood, etc. Very thought provoking poem!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Lovely insights, sradle! Yes, they do indeed. They reflect mood, and tattered clothes reflect poor circumstances which one can choose to overcome! Thanks for the read and comment, and I'm glad you like this!

    • sradie profile image

      sradie 

      6 years ago from Palm Coast FL

      I liked the poem and the story very much. Simple and thought provoking. Our clothes, when we have a variety of garments to choose from, I think they often reflect the mood we were in when we put them on. For those who have no wardrobe of consequence, clothes often speak of the harshness of life, the struggle to maintain dignity and even the love that resides inside.

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      She's always a beauty, Dana. And yes, you're spot on about her feelings about herself! Also up to her to decide what to do about them! Looks like we have the same cartoon tastes! Thanks for dropping by, my dear!

    • DanaTeresa profile image

      Dana Strang 

      6 years ago from Ohio

      This is very nice. You are right about how a a dress can make a woman feel horrible, or like the most beautiful thing in the room. Youcan expand this past dresses of course to, too her feelings about herself.

      Cinderella is my favorite Disney movie, for the story and for those fabulous dresses!

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      Thanks, Rahul for the insights! Yes, indeed they do. And how we want to wear the clothes is entirely up to us as well! Appreciate the visit and look forward to reading your hubs!

    • rahul0324 profile image

      Jessee R 

      6 years ago from Gurgaon, India

      Wonderfully written.... excellently crafted... and yes... the bottom line of your write is very true

      The clothes we put on... are a part of our physiological and psychological persona. They can tell a lot about one's character and nature...

      Beautifully done

    • midget38 profile imageAUTHOR

      Michelle Liew 

      6 years ago from Singapore

      When a lady puts on a dress, it can tell us quite a few things about life. Looking forward to your views!

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