maternal

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freshly laundered
folded
wrapped in tissue paper
and sealed in a plastic bag
she’d tucked it
in the back of a cupboard
even though she’d told you
it had disintegrated in the washer

held you as you cried
and handed you a corner of blue
she said she’d managed to salvage
a soft, small piece of comfort
not even large enough
to absorb the falling tears

one day
forty something years later
you open a package she’s sent
filled with odds and ends
she’s clearing out
crocheted doilies
wooden dolls hand painted
by your grandmother
antique pantaloons
and paper-thin, cotton camisoles

between the exquisite scraps
you uncover the blue
of the blanket that swaddled you
full of holes
but mostly whole
worn but still more than enough
much like her love
always there
even when you were certain
it must not exist

May 2015
Julie Ayers

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