I’m saving treasures in a dresser drawer:
a diaper pin, the little shoes you wore
with jingles in the laces, a barrette
still clasping strands of wispy hair. They whet
my hankering for things I can’t forget.
Before our paths converged, I held a view
of easy, unobstructed passage through
the challenges of motherhood. I knew
exactly what to do at twenty-two.
But that was long before my stumbling feet
were pressed into the coals, the searing heat
of constant battle forcing my retreat.
And though you’ve plunged my heart into despair
a thousand nights, I can’t forget to care.