- Banana-Yellow Magic Julies Barrueco
- Reflections on the Height of Style: Surviving a Suburban 1980's Haircut Jen LiMarzi
- Grace Katie Marks
- Boat Shoes and Other Serious Considerations D.W. Martin
- Four Statement Pieces, One History Jenny Sadre-Orafai
- That's Just What They'll Do Emma Törzs
- The Red Sweater Collection Kayla Washko
Laura Sloan Patterson
The holiday cards were signed "Great,"
the name we gave her,
small mouths never rolling through
"Great-grandmother" without a bump.
As a girl, three years at the mill,
no smiles, no breaks, no sun-warmed brick at her back
and trails of cigarette smoke echoing stacked towers.
Painted eyebrows raised in her wake,
that one sure puts on airs.
She left, carrying
a tricked-out makeup case,
ready to spring like a coiled snake.
Bony knees and strong thighs
ground foothills into vistas.
The smell of castor oil and colored wax
wrapped in the deception of Perky Peony
and Manhattan Scarlet. Rolls of quarters
for the down payment on the dress shop,
downtown Granite Falls.
Then the real Manhattan, garment district,
the first of her clan to go.
Decades later, amid dusty hat boxes,
lipstick samples still roll and clatter
from under the attic eaves.
Tonight in mirrored reflection
you ask why I'm toying
with the tools of the patriarchy.
Why can't I look more earthy,
like your vision of a me that never was?
My answer, part wax, part "bless your heart,"
holds a meaning far more offensive.
Your image vanishes in a quizzical tilt,
as you wonder how you've been bested
by a hard-scrabble Appalachian girl
with an invisible lipstick
curled in her palm.