Editor’s Pick: March 3, 1991

At the undertaker’s I open the box,
pull pins from cuffs and collar,
shake out the folds, stroke the soft sleeve
of the nicest shirt my father will ever own.
Then, like the aproned women in The Gleaners,
with my sisters I bow over his pocket’s leavings.
White comb gray with oil.
Timex with replacement strap.
Cracked wallet― eleven dollars, club IDs,
and the last license issued to our mother
carried all these years behind his own.

She gazes there, as if gazing in,
as if not gazing―
Says she was ready, even then;
the high window an idea just forming.

 

 

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