Shows me hats, gloves, asks me
to keep them or put them in the bag
with the discarded, sullen few.
Every day we try to fill a bag.
We sneak in my sister’s old scarves
though she’s miles away,
won’t even notice they’re gone.
I don’t envy the tattered fabrics,
the dust-worn wool, the frayed and waving tassels,
each item a year I don’t mind forgetting.
Next we switch to my mother’s closet:
layers of black clothing so dark
we can’t find a thing. When I refuse
to take anything home, she meets me outside
with cakes and a hat I’ve never seen before.
When my parents visit my sister, they call me,
place the phone where I should be sitting,
and declare We’re all together again.