I’m finally looking into the cardboard box
I brought home from my mother’s house
late last month;
The clementines she insisted I take and perched on top
have long since been eaten;
it’s been otherwise untouched
sitting in the corner of the yellow room.
Two pairs of my infant pajamas —
The yellow corduroy with the embroidered lion;
the faded white and green night dress.
She had remarked on the drawstring
she had sewn into the bottom,
how it was still there,
and the fold-over sleeves to keep me from scratching myself
as I slept in my crib.
My white shoes, too —
but still with their impossibly stiff soles;
my grandmother’s blue-and-white Canton ware,
wrapped in the 1975 Daily News
from Bowling Green, Kentucky.
just before I left,
we sat on the basement couch flipping through
faded Kodak prints, square with rounded corners,
(most taken before we moved into the house on the hill).
We paused at one where I wore that night dress,
standing with my sister
in the deep darkness of an evening east window.
There were others, too, from that forty-years-ago,
and she told me again about each one.
We had such fun, she said,