written when memaw was moved to hospice care and was at peace and no longer in pain
Hope cracked the closet door
the hinge squeaks this time of year due to the humidity
and eased it open
she stood facing dress after dress
eyes washing over fabric and color and style
she slid out of the somber black number
she’d worn over the weekend
stepped free from pooled polyester at her ankles
pulled a bright jumper
patterned orange and blue
from the rack and onto her frame
adjusted the straps in her full-length mirror
on the closet door
it was here when she moved in
and smiled at her reflection.
* * *
old cool-whip container
i wanted to write you a story
in which we met at nine years old.
we would have found each other
barefoot and shin-deep in a creek
water moving just enough
to carry away clouds of sediment disturbed by our clumsy steps.
not yet old enough to know i should be shy
in the presence of who you will later be
i might have asked your name
and if you had seen any big crayfish today
and shown you my catches i’d put in an old cool-whip container sitting on the bank.
but i couldn’t get my language down
or mask the love-story cleverly enough,
because the author knows now i would love that girl forever
dirty hands and muddy jeans and hair as wild as the wind.
* * *
Raleigh & Company will begin publishing poetry and short literature regularly. We invite readers and writers to submit contributions to raleighandcompany@gmail.