Her Own Long Gown

Close-up photograph of the f-hole and bridge of a violin.Although she was a poor person in a poor time, my grandmother played the violin. Hers was passed down from mother to daughter and mother to daughter again. Music drew my grandparents together. He sang and played the piano. They married in Salt Lake City and moved to Oakland, where he tried to start and run a used record store. She auditioned for Oakland’s orchestra. The orchestra wanted her as the second chair but required she provide formal wear, her own long gown. My grandparents did the obvious thing, the thing anyone would do, and dyed her wedding dress black.


Stephen D. Gibson’s work has been nominated for Pushcart Prizes and Best Microfictions. It has appeared in Vestal Review and elsewhere.

Art Credit: Ajay Suresh

3 Responses to “Her Own Long Gown”

  1. Katherine Caselli says:

    Simply amazing

    • Barrington says:

      Some glamorise poverty in literature and how the poor rise up. This tells it like it is. In reality there is no joy in being poor. This powerful intergenerational story screams from it’s bones about the sacrifices made by generations, many of which remain untold. Stephan’s piece packs a gut wrenching climax. Inspiring. Now I see what you can do with 100 words. Breath taking! You have inspired me to take on the hundred-headed beast and try to tame it. Thank you.

  2. Meg Fox says:

    Having played violin with orchestras for years, I absolutely love the wonderful ending.

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