When we pack your kitchen
just before you two move to LA,
I double-wrap everything:
a layer of foam, and then newsprint.
I do not want breakage
on my conscience. A mother
does not want to break anything. We
fill boxes with cake slicers,
nesting bowls, your Vera Wang
dishes still in their cardboard cases,
and I realize your kitchen
is fancier than mine. Those dishes:
white with subtle gold rims,
a pattern your great grandmother
would have loved. All your dreams in them,
simple elegance, a calm home,
something to give to your children,
should they appear. Gold and white,
good fortune and purity, and
death too. I wish for you the permanence
you have campaigned for. Wrap the glass
vases, so breakable. Wrap
the commemorative mugs: your college,
Christmas, the hearts and arrows
of your high school love now grown
into something tough and fragile.
He's not here today, out saying goodbye
to his oldest friend, leaving
you with me, wrapping things up
in this rented kitchen.
About the Author: Cammy Thomas has published two collections of poems with Four Way Books: Inscriptions (2014), and Cathedral of Wish, which received the 2006 Norma Farber First Book Award from the Poetry Society of America. Her poems are forthcoming or have recently appeared in Tampa Review, Ocean State Review, Compose, WomenArts Quarterly, and The Missouri Review. A fellowship from the Ragdale Foundation helped her complete Inscriptions. Cammy lives in Lexington, Massachusetts.