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. 

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