Cleaning the Attic

for Lauren

I’ll just say it—

I envy you, love. 

Up and down the narrow

rickety stairs with

(I’ll say this too)

an embarrassing amount 

of what we kept

but did not need

while the real work, the work

of combing the ratty hair of the past

is done—dusty 

photos, baby clothes

the mother’s day card

from your daughter, the one

when she explained, 

in no uncertain detail, 

how a truly great mother

would give her daughter

riding lessons. 

(The Blue Mountain Review, 2019)

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