Bits

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.

Oh, two?

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

no really

Just get the in a box

Just write – I dunno

“photos, 21st century”

Oh really? Ok, twentieth then,

 

What are all these…

these bits

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.

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

and yowl.

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.

Good idea.

 

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

my children.

You need me here

unencumbered

in plain sight.

 

So hand me a box

I will try to let go

dust to dust

trusting the wind.

x

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