Rochelle Jewel Shapiro, “Jumbled In A Large, Dark Bag”

My husband’s name sewn into the necks
or waistbands of his clothes returned
from the nursing home, his scent laundered
out of them, the folds of his long body
no longer in the folded clothes.


I must pluck the stitches to remove each label
before I give his things to a homeless shelter
where men who live in the Hoovervilles
of Americana are coaxed inside in freezing weather.


My husband would have given
the shirt off his back to anyone, and now
his clothes will be given to the living.

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