FOLDING SHIRTS

by Eva Matsuzaki


click to enlarge

When I’ve lost someone I love, I bounce between the deep missing and the precious memories. One minute it hurts. The next minute it’s gratitude for our time together. Still bouncing, years later.

 

Folding Shirts

by Eva Matsuzaki

 

One by one,
one by one,
I take his shirt off the hanger.
I fold it slowly, carefully in thirds,
buttons done, collar face up.

Each tells me a story.
This was a favorite
for plane rides—
no wrinkles, long sleeves,
pocket for boarding pass.

This one for golf
with our son Martin,
a recent Christmas gift.
This one for going out—
casual, yet dressy enough,
maybe with a sweater.

So many shirts,
so many stories.
Each one neatly folded,
then put into a pile
to be given away.

In these days of folding,
I traveled to so many places,
over so many years.
Now those bags have left,
and yes, the memories stay,
but so does the missing.

 

Eva Matsuzaki was born in Riga, raised in the Bronx and New Haven, and at home in Vancouver for 45 years. In 2000, she was busy with family life, architecture, volunteer work, and ... kaboom!! ... non-Hodgkins lymphoma. Surgery, chemo, radiation, darkness. Poetry helped; Callanish cared. Then her husband was diagnosed with pancreatic cancer. Repeat. Sad ending. Slowly the heart opened again, and let in the light.