Buccaneer of Boutonnieres

She keeps a can of buttons beneath her bed —
She never knew when she might need them
The can was a treasure to me
I would sneak into her bedroom early in the morning
sometimes late at night and I would smuggle
the can into my bedroom
(I am descended of pirates — a buccaneer of boutonnieres)
I would dump them all out
hundreds of them
sink my hands in them
like they were coins of gold
the mix-matched, rough-sided and smooth-edged
currency of lost sweaters, shirts, trousers and button-eyed dolls.
I would count them
match them
color code them
And scoop them into my hands
They clattered in the can
as they dropped in.
There was no better sound.

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