Gown Sonnet

Somewhere in Sometown, USA, there lies

a bride, in a trunk—in an attic—in a house—

in a tangled mess of lace and limbs, a douse

of clouds floating across the landscape of her eyes.

Even now, her lace has begun to curl like eye-

lashes on a night ready for batting, her blouse

see-through as a ghost. But it wasn’t that blouse

she now rests in. It’s a gown her mother dyed


with small snakeweed in warm waters weeks

before her wedding day. The bride wasn’t found

until years later, when a child in a veil crowned

with dandelions & mums playing hide-and-seek


broke the latch and lifted the wooden lid—

unearthing a beautiful head of hair, still done up.


Tacey M. Atsitty is Tsénahabiłnii and born for Ta’neeszahnii. Her work appears or is forthcoming in EPOCH, Poetry, the Kenyon Review, Prairie Schooner, Poem-a-Day, and other publications. Her book is Rain Scald (University of New Mexico Press, 2018). She holds an MFA from Cornell University and is currently a PhD student at Florida State University. She lives in Tallahassee with her husband.