by Sandy Coomer

I washed your clothes

that smelled of urine and vomit,

twice through the cycle,

with colorfast bleach and the hottest water.

I folded them, matching

corners, sleeves. I sewed new

buttons and re-stitched hems.

I stacked them, sweatpants

and jeans, sweaters and shirts,

socks and underwear, laying

them gently, like gifts, in

a laundry basket

in your front hall

while you were

in the doctor’s office,

a line of chemicals linked

to your arm.

I didn’t wait for you to come home

ashen and thin, your head

wrapped in a blue bandana,

your eyes and lips

too large for words.

Sandy Coomer is a poet, mixed media artist, and endurance athlete. Her poems have most recently been published in Big MuddyIcarus Down ReviewHypertrophic Literary Magazine, and Main Street Rag. She is the author of two poetry collections: Continuum (Finishing Line Press) and The Presence of Absence (2014 Janice Keck Literary Award for Poetry).