The Cloth of Time

The Cloth of Time

Calicos, oxford cloth, and pinstripes haunt the closet’s stud-tucked corner. Whether cherished or abandoned, skinless they hang, full of memories. Darkness and dust cloak hangered shoulders. These once new, slightly worn, fabric shells cause recollections. Flashes of numbered pages passing in the downhome, L.L. Bean, catalog stir, rippled visions of Megunticook Lake and Camden Harbor. This batch of daydreams gathers like the tiger lilies behind our first home on Branch Street. Mother had been a young bride then and I newborn. Purchased, a month or so before her dismissal into the “the home,” so she would look presentable, the button-down bevy of blouses was too good to waste on Good Will. We had chosen them together. I had pressed them for her between each wash and wear. They remained this side of the grass, but she did not.


on the nightstand:

windows stream

The accordion closet doors are fully open now. A melancholy melody, “Blue Moon” by Billy Eckstine, shivers through my mind, it’s 1949, I’m one. Decades shimmer by past ruby club chairs, dragon rugs, and torchiere lamps—she in a pin-curled bob and I in pipe curls. She was melon ripe then full of my sister. We beached ourselves in Far Rockaway. Fingering the oxford cloth, I recalled her in father’s shirt painting the mahogany hand-me-down bedroom set white with gold outlines in mock French Provencal. The room was lilac. It suited her mood. From the shower, father crooned, “It Was A Very Good Year. I was fourteen. I ironed father’s shirts.

The calico shirt brought me home to Maine blueberry picking in Lincolnville and Pitcher Pond. Early morning was all calico, baked beans, and rhubarb pie; I’d worn the calico once or twice since she’d passed. I closed the closet door, leaving the memories of oxford cloth and pinstripe for another day.

Deborah Guzzi

Deborah Guzzi writes fulltime. Her third book, The Hurricane, is available through Prolific Press. She has been nominated for the Rysling Award for science fiction. Her poetry appears in Allegro, Shooter, Amethyst Review & Foxglove Journal in the UK-Existere, Ekphrastic Review, Scarlet Leaf Review & Subterranean Blue Poetry, Canada - Tincture, Australia - mgv2>publishing, France - Cha: Asian Review, Hong Kong, China - Vine Leaves Journal, Australia - Scarlet Leaf Review - Greece, pioneertown, Sounding Review, Bacopa Literary Review, The Aurorean, Liquid Imagination, The Tishman Review & others in the USA.

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