Not white, but close; cream a spiral of soap in water the colour of teeth. Yours had a gap. We waited for a gap in the night. Not silence, but close; breath teasing heat from our mouths until our feet swayed, stayed still. The soft ripple of silk in the night not white, but close, and then away chasing breath into the light. Mother’s fingers clever and soft, supple as warm wax against skin, moulded tight through mine, spun stiches up my sides, thin as the strands of her hair not white, but close. In the photo: the dress smooth as milk and the gap between your teeth hidden.
Gunda Klavins’ mother stitched her daughter’s wedding dress from US Army parachute silk. The dress is simple, its story is not. Gunda lost her childhood and older brother to the war. In 1947, in what was left of her hometown of Nuremburg, she finally had her fairy-tale wedding complete with ‘white horse and carriage.’ Then in 1950 she moved to Australia with her Latvian husband Wili and two young children. For Gunda, the dress is many happy memories; for me, it’s the happy-ever-after that some souls can spin from the most unlikely of silks.
Return to Story Circle: The Transnational Story Hub and the Inspiraciones Literarias, a chapbook curated by Merlinda Bobis.