At 53

Who can say
at the dawn of a birthday?
If we are born with goodness and trust
what remains after so much laundering
of oneself?
Live. Wash. Rinse. Repeat.

When I was young
I had a blanket, white with pink and blue flowers
cotton with satin edging pink and soft and shiny
comfort to a small cheek on a dark night.
Her name was Mary.
Mary Soft Blanket.

By the time I was 25
she was rough, flower pattern worn and washed away
satin long since ripped and discarded
still fit for sunbathing
on a sunny day
in a meadow of bees and blueberries.

Now she lives in a basket
at the back of a closet under the stairs
other blankets since bought and discarded
it’s been 50 years
I think of her goodness
and wonder what lingers in me.

Live. Wash. Rinse.
And now – repair.
Feel for softness beneath my rough
listen for remnants of goodness and trust
and then
only repeat what feels well and true.

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