Maxine Scates


Mother's Closet

This is everything she ever closed a door
on, the broom closet of childhood
where no one could ever find a broom.
Here, layer upon layer, nothing breathes:
photo albums curl at the edges, books
she brought home from the library
where she worked, handled by thousands
of other hands before their final exile
where they’ ve waited, paper and more paper
taking in the ocean air, about to sprout.