I ... entered the poem of life, whose purpose is ... simply to witness the beauties of the world, to discover the many forms that love can take. (Barabara Blackman in 'Glass After Glass')

These poems are works in progress and may be updated without notice. Nevertheless copyright applies to all writings here and all photos (which are either my own or used with permission). Thank you for your comments. I read and appreciate them all, and reply here to specific points that seem to need it — or as I have the leisure. Otherwise I reciprocate by reading and commenting on your blog posts as much as possible.

19 April 2017

Clearing Out the Wardrobe

I was ruthless –
didn't want to keep
an empty shrine
of all your clothes
without you in them;
made the choice not
to open the cupboard,
look at them and cry.

I put them in a collection bag
I knew would be taken
far out of town, away 
from local op-shops
and the chance I might see
someone else wearing them –
even a whole lot of someones,
none of whom would be you.

I wanted them out of the house.
You were still here, lingering
in every room, walking
along the passage, sitting
at your desk in front of the computer
or in your favourite armchair.
I didn't need or desire 
physical reminders, I thought.

Of course I was too hasty.
Grieving, I caught a cold,
put myself, sneezing, to bed.
A bed without you in it
to cuddle and warm me.
I curled in a ball anyway –
but how I wished I could wrap myself
in your old green flannel pyjama jacket.

Written for Sanaa's inaugural prompt for day 19 of April Poetry Month at 'imaginary garden with real toads': to write about love, using a common everyday image.


  1. Oh this is such a heart-wrenching write, Rosemary! The emotions here are so raw and tangible, especially this; "I curled in a ball anyway – but how I wished I could wrap myself in your old green flannel pyjama jacket" brought tears into my eyes. Beautifully penned. Thank you so much for participating. *Big hugs*

    Lots of love,

    1. It was a wonderful prompt, easy for me to write to. xx

  2. Clothes seem to be the theme for this morning. This has such a strong voice. I like the idea of the whole lot of someones none of whom would be you...you also walk that line well between the 'moving on' and the 'holding on'

  3. Yes, Rosemary, I understand. It is said, don't do anything for at least a year. And maybe that includes getting rid of stuff? Who knows what one will need or desire? Sometimes it is the smallest thing. His pencil, his chair, his spoon, the list grows as time passes.

  4. Oh my goodness woman can you spin the words to ignite hearts. Thank you for sharing your love.

  5. I too fear I would be too "hasty" We need to think twice don't we? remember more

  6. So poignant and something that we all dread - you've expressed it so well, Rosemary. These lines had me gulping back tears:
    'I curled in a ball anyway –
    but how I wished I could wrap myself
    in your old green flannel pyjama jacket'.

  7. Oh, Rosemary. This is wonderful. I mourn that article of clothing right along with you.

  8. This is so real and moving. I love this.

  9. Such a heartbreaking image at the close.

  10. The longing is so raw, Rosemary. And that ending, oh that ending! I It says so much about what grief does to judgement, and it how it makes us pay later.

  11. This breaks my heart. Grief twists us in so many directions.

  12. The hasty removal of physical memory and then the longing, these two parallels just tugs at my heart

    Splendid write Rosemary

    much love.

  13. This so raw and bittersweet. It's magic to find love like that, but I imagine it's hell once that ultimate parting comes.

  14. Beautiful Rosemary. All the little details, all the raw pain. Hugz, Rasz

  15. Heart-wrenching and yet so beautiful. You successfully brought this to life. I am with you.

  16. so human and touching. thanks. k.

  17. ahhhhh. beautifully sad, Rosemary ~

  18. Yes, the comfort of the green flannel pajama jacket would have warmed you, my friend.

  19. Thank you for sharing, Rosemary. I felt all the way through that this was real and the real you. I've found there are extremes both ways on what to keep and have around and what to pass to someone else. Quite common is to save everything, leaving it untouched for years. I hope I am not that way about it.

    1. Perfect ending, in some areas and times, remorse.

    2. Yes, you're quite right, Jim, absolutely real – albeit four and a half years ago.

  20. Oh dear Rosemary! Hastiness, grief clouding judgement, something I know very well. Your piece is piercing with such raw emotion yet beautiful in its ability to capture loss and longing. Well-written, indeed.