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I wish I could have loved that paisley dress

you gave me on the day that I turned ten.

(If I were male, would you love me less?)

 

I smiled through my tears, my mind a mess.

‘You’re double figures now,’ you told me then.

I wish I could have loved that paisley dress.

 

I had no words, no language to express

my grief for years that wouldn’t come again.

(You didn’t want a boy.  You’d love me less.)

 

Grow up, move on, conceal, deny, repress,

Yet still the image lingers, now and then:

I wish I could have loved that paisley dress.

 

It’s only now, at forty, I confess

my deepest dream: to join the world of men,

And live as Me.  (But will you love me less?)

 

 

Perhaps this truth will shatter my success;

But if not Me, then who?  If not now, when?

I never could have loved that paisley dress.

(I wonder if you love me any less?)