Various and Sundry Poetry

the great unpacking

goodness knows
there were things she'd had to let go of -
"what to keep and what to throw away,"
is how her friend put it, stumbling in the midst
of motherhood and marriage,
those twin parentheses of security
formatting even her dark days.

but this was not that same excision.
this was paperbacks and photos and mementos
of everything that had managed, somehow,
to make the final cut.
this was dishware, old poetry, and wire sculptures.
this was starfish, a basketball trophy, and costumes.

this was not an unhinging, a cyclone
of irretrievable loss, a catacylsm of memory.
this required only
a cup of strong coffee,
and a little shelf space.

and though her back was taut with the move,
her hands a swamp of paper cuts and ache,
her head juggling the measurements of storage,
through it all, her heart had remained
blissfully, unreservedly

and because of this reprieve
from all the possible shatteredness
she saw the pile from the perch of her coffee cup
and realized how easy she had it,
her great unpacking the simplest matter
of boxes.