Girl hitches a pin to the torn and tattered
frock surrendered to dance upon a dry fall
breeze. She tenders the clothesline across the
yard filled with the rusting cadavers of a decade.
A toaster from her mother’s marriage lays bent
and upturned, twisted coils remember the
final conge. She kicks it as she pulls in the sun-bleached
fray. The dress she wore to father’s funeral,
gaunt, shapeless, and filled with remorse,
dazzled then as she pitched dirt upon waxed wood
and gleam of death. She remembers the thud
as that of rain pelting against the discarded Chevy,
now rotting on wheeless terrain. Mud shrouds
her ankles and claims again, as those times before, she
reels in the fragment dripping with vestiges of her trespass.
The sun casts a darkening shadow across grass long ago
turned brown, brittle, and razor-edged, the line
between then and now, coarse and unraveling, with the
burden of a thousand washes as if the blood spilt in rage
could be soaked from a handmaiden’s garment.
Soiled and profaned, it cannot be salvaged as it hangs limp
in the kiss of autumn’s demise. She claims it tenderly
to cherish each fold of regret before stowing its remains
in her mother’s attic. She, too, must pack away what’s left
before the shades of winter cast their pale hue. Reverently,
she blesses and places it amongst the other abandoned
garments, settled now with the dust of space and time,
the stain bleeding out red-now-brown of spoken crumbs.