Ode To Buttoning and Unbuttoning My Shirt

Media Type
Parent Resource
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Center Relevance
Instinct Relevance
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Child Resources
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Entry Date
Jun 8, 2022 2:27 AM
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Public Domain
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The Text

No one knew or at least

I didn’t know

they knew

what the thin disks

threaded here

on my shirt

might give me

in terms of joy

this is not something to be taken lightly

the gift

of buttoning one’s shirt


top to bottom

or bottom

to top or sometimes

the buttons

will be on the other

side and

I am a woman

that morning

slipping the glass

through its slot

I tread

differently that day

or some of it


my conversations

are different

and the car bomb slicing the air

and the people in it

for a quarter mile

and the honeybee’s

legs furred with pollen

mean another

thing to me

than on the other days

which too have

been drizzled in this

simplest of joys

in this world

of spaceships and subatomic

this and that

two maybe three

times a day

some days

I have the distinct pleasure

of slowly untethering

the one side

from the other

which is like unbuckling

a stack of vertebrae

with delicacy

for I must only use

the tips

of my fingers

with which I will

one day close

my mother’s eyes

this is as delicate

as we can be

in this life


like this

giving the raft of our hands

to the clumsy spider

and blowing soft until she

lifts her damp heft and

crawls off

we practice like this

pushing the seed into the earth

like this first

in the morning

then at night

we practice

sliding the bones home.