In all chaos there is a cosmos, in all disorder a secret order.
Scraps from every quilt I’ve made,
linoleum blocks, pillows that don’t match
anything but each other
which someday I’ll recover.
Tight ice skates, mildewed ski boots,
The winter sleeping bag
that he promised
would keep me warm.
The print of a scarecrow in a brown coat
that hung above the piano
till I couldn’t stand it any more
even though my father made the frame.
Mother’s Marine Corps scrapbook.
Textbooks from before the Flood
arguing the case for Continental Drift,
books filled with proofs
for the goodness of God.
Bone china cups and saucers
wrapped in paper and piled in a pail.
Two soup tureens,
a dye pot, a spinning wheel,
dishes I saved
for the kids who bought better ones.
Bearfeet slippers with no soles,
high school notes and sweatshirts,
a blue stuffed animal of unknown species.
A model of the plant Hoth
built of styrofoam and blue rubber gloves.
A broken plastic fireman’s hat.
Campfire girl beads,
a wedding gown,
an opera costume,
a Canadian flight suit,
a green wig, a paper skeleton,
my father-in-law’s last bathrobe.
Tante Lillian’s missals and the portrait
of Jesus’ Sacred Heart I forgot
to put into her coffin.
A Jerry Garcia clock.
A broken lamp
given me as a parting gift
by a terrible boss.