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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All The Beautiful Things

I read an interview with Maurice Sendak today. A short interview. Not ten minutes ago. It inspired me to write this poem. So, this is partly for Maurice Sendak. Ps.: Maurice ~ If you want a secret daughter, send me a note. I’m a really good one.

I don’t mean to be maudlin
But I will miss all of the beautiful things.
The liberty of making coffee,
The blessing that is smelling coffee,
The miracle that coffee exists,
Or that I ever existed.
And all of the little things,
Some little things as annoying as gnats,
But gnats are also amazing.
The miracle that gnats ever existed,
Or that I ever existed!
No matter how big or how small,
The grand,
The absurd,
The frustrating,
I don’t mean to be maudlin
But I will miss all of the beautiful things.

Pajamas

Thought about pajamas today.

(Not because it’s a funny word, though that is true…)

It was one of the last things my mom and I talked about. Peejays. She had been on a ventilator for a couple of months that had required a tracheostomy. When she was awake and could mouth words to us in the rehabilitation wing of the hospital, it’s one of the first things she asked for.

So my sister and I went shopping. It was Dillard’s, I think.

We bought all kinds of pajamas, robes and gowns.

An armful.

They were never worn.

After she died, we had to return them. With the receipt.