TW: allusion to death, mention of needles

Cool white cotton
Burial shroud
Older than my grandmother would have been
On her birthday next month
White as the whites of eyes
Soft as albumen
Delicate pin tucks like
The fold of my baby's ear when he was born
Wrapped in layer after layer of white flannel
After they pricked him with a dozen needles
Pressed bottles of white un-milk
Into my trembling hands as he wailed
Pale forehead scar from the brick corner
Divot on the eyelid from the wasp sting
Seams and pulls in the fabric
Clean as white rose petals
Light as milkweed down
I have been taken up and
Let out
Fall around myself in loose folds
I will wear it with flowers
On May Day

About The Author

Emily Benson (she/her) lives in Western New York with her husband and two sons. Previous publications include Blue River Review, Five Minute Lit, Hecate Magazine, High Shelf Press, Moist Poetry Journal, Paddler Press, and The Dillydoun Review. Her work can be found at