Put this shit in boxes – all this shit, somebody
get over here
help me put this shit in boxes
Let me see – there’s a box
One for craft.
Three then. Are you sure? No, don’t answer.
Just put it away
put it all away.
And those photos – here, here are the shoe boxes
I don’t care about order
Just get the in a box
Just write – I dunno
“photos, 21st century”
Oh really? Ok, twentieth then,
What are all these…
bits of shit?
What do I do with those?
Drawers and bowls of bits of shit
hair clips with fairy stars
a necklace with mismatched beads
threaded by small fingers
five allen keys
800 bobby pins
3 pawpaw ointments
a candle making kit from Aunty Irene circa 1998
Just… put it in a box
All of it, yes, one box
label it “bits of shit”
Ok, “small stuff”
or “things that are too small for the agony of decisions”
or “things I sometimes wish would get lost in a fire”
And this box, here
Music I once sang as a girl, in a choir
swelling and releasing
our voices welcomed, unchallenged, riotous in harmony
we had the power to whip storms to earth
making stars light
and floors rumble
dancing in voice together like skaters on ice
clutching the skirt of the next girl
holding back the will to drop the head back
Yes, we will keep it.
Pick out the things you do wear, you say,
and we’ll put the rest away.
Where’s the fun in that?
It’s the things I hardly wear
that I love the most.
The green spotted single-shouldered party dress I wore
when we won the trivia night
The fire engine velvet cowboy hat
The burgundy corduroy coat with shag pile collar and cuffs
and silver buckles.
Who could put these magnificent creatures in a box?
That one you may label
“more books than I could ever read”
And that one
“CDs for my children”
No, that’s not a joke.
Yes, let’s put the player in too.
Oh that. Oh, oh dear.
That tiny cardigan.
I chose navy for her second birthday
only it took a bit longer
(I’d never tried cables before)
It was two months late but fitted you for the year.
Yes I can see - a silverfish picnic.
I suppose it can’t be an heirloom.
I can’t repair the picot neckline. Or the shoulder.
It’s gone. It’s gone. But where?
What happens to the mother, grasped at gratefully
by tiny hands
knitting in the eveninngs
when so much needed to be done
just to show her
her Mama’s hands could make her warm
even when she was away at work.
Do I turn to dust? Blown away?
Eaten by the silverfish?
This is what you want of me.
This is what you need of me
You need me here
in plain sight.
So hand me a box
I will try to let go
dust to dust
trusting the wind.