The Dubose and Dorothy Heyward Society Prize
History of Petticoats
The first petticoat was not, as is sometimes said,
a white petunia picked by a bored child,
left to play alone in the garden,
and having only a twig for a doll.
Nor was it the white-fringed wing
of moth at the window. Not the voice,
as is commonly believed, of an infant ghost.
The first petticoat was the membrane
between orange rind and nectar,
the second, the skin on the inner side of eggshell.
An earlier ancestor: the white space
between dreaming and awake,
and before that, the silence