dozens of cloche hats,
shoe boxes, fancy high heels,
dresses sequestered in zippered bags—
the sisters searching
for their mother’s sequined,
knee-length, flapper gown
and her sailor costume
with middy blouse.

A sister afternoon—
the younger practices
the fine art of being taller,
tiny, shimmering flakes
of white and pastel sequins,
so heavy in their

The older readies
for an ocean voyage,
packing what can’t be packed
until she gets there.

A flock of scarves,
like gull wings, flutter
down off the shelves
exposing a submerged book–

The Art of Love-Making: 100
Oriental Positions to Enhance
Your Marital Relationship.

No sailor blouses, no sequins,
in fact, no fabric to cover
the facts of life.  The book
is finally shut— if not closed—
put back in its original position.
The shoes are reboxed, the clothes rehung—
their mother’s dress-up world,
closeted for now.

Published Over a Threshold of Roots, Sandra Larson, Pudding House Chapbook Series, 2007