“…how one feels a small life’s shortness.” ~ Rilke, “Blue Hydrangea”

Yet in this minuscule, this easily
overlooked space, we held the packed
wardrobes of those who’ve left

their previous lives— Little to carry
in the coming across: a coat, trousers,
two good shirts, a pair of handkerchiefs,

a pocket watch. Good shoes, a skirt,
a dress for Sunday best, hooped earrings
fashioned from a melted-down inheritance.

For wasn’t the world made of its materials?
And in our letters, we catalogued the parks,
and somewhere in the drifting in-between

the keen salt-note of the sea. Astonishment
of trees that shed change like wealth,
sure of return in so many ways we

could never be. While we, like misers,
hoarded every small bloom against uncertain
futures, until they faded or shrank away.

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