My pajamas
smell like
my dresser
of old clothes
and wood
and my parents’ house
where the dresser stood
gathering t-shirts
and jeans
sweaty softball uniforms
and acrylic sweaters
boxes of love notes
passed from my boyfriend
in high school
pins from corsages
and forgotten petals
a diary from 1982.

It gathered dust
and supported book stacks,
in imperious federal style
until it came to house
my husband’s socks
and his grandfather’s ring
pairs of shorts and button-less shirts
in need of mending

This was the furniture
my parents bought me
at age 15
to take into my marriage one day
a whole hope-chest-suite my dowry
here you go, kid, good luck

One house, then another, a third
and now here
it holds all
the secrets & thoughts
I kept those years,
folded into pockets
and hidden
a library of my childhood
that wafts up from
my pajamas.


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