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I packed away tights with ruffled hineys

And onesies that snap on the bottom

And overalls

Made of navy blue corduroy

I packed away baptism outfits

With perfectly smocked

Breasts and

A cross etched across the heart

I packed away ragtag blankets

Stained with milk and tears

And a toddler’s

Sleepless night

I packed away blue stuffed bears

And pink elephants

And ratty board books

Jagged with marks from newly erupted teeth

I packed away cords and monitors

With lights blinking

And shots meant to protect

And nebulizers

I packed away sirens

And five am

Heart pounding

Checks on my children

I packed away empty seats

At my table

Of five

Meant for six

I packed away tears

And anger

And good china

Thrown across the room

I packed away aching


Filled with too much

Milk that had nowhere to nourish

I packed away snapshots

Of an house

Once filled with


I packed away hospital stays

And too early babies

Who needed

Spinal taps and IV antibiotics

I packed away septic infections

And wheezing

And nights

Without sleep by a hospital bed or a crib

I packed away a little

Girl’s longing

To know

A sister she never met

I packed away a midnight

Fear that Mommy died

In a family

Who knew death too well

I packed away too serious

Eyes on a three year old


Saw too much

I packed away a white

Eyelet dress and a bonnet and my heart

Into the cold