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.

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.


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.