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Cleaning the closet

September 21st, 2003 · No Comments

open the door
but don’t look at the floor:
a tangle of laundry
spaghetti of memories
pants, turtlenecks, a dress
embarrassing mess
clothes together like old lovers
embracing each other
I pull them apart
getting a start
on cleaning the closet

but the memories come
to mind one by one
happy and sad tales
stained T-shirt with a whale
gift from my aunt years ago
when my family seemed whole

I don’t know
why I keep these old clothes
smelly to the nose
holes in the seams
but they still hold dreams
and faces of friends
hopes that won’t end

although the skirt’s too tight
and I don’t go out at night
so the dresses go unworn
and the jeans have holes torn
yet I want to remember:
Granny who gave me the sweater
the dance in high school
dressed up and too cool
the slim darted jumper
worn in college by my mother
when she was dating my dad
divorced now, it’s sad
all these clothes that don’t fit
taking up space in the closet
what a charity case
this mess is such waste
should get a bag to fill
and give to goodwill

but if only I could find
freedom in my heart and mind
to donate all the dreams
left behind.

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