What You Were Wearing

Theta Pavis

They handed me your clothes
the winter boots,
the dark, folded jeans in their
impossible size 5.

I put them in my trunk,
then drove around
orbiting your hospital like a
satellite sister.

And every time I had to open
the trunk, loading in the groceries,
the rock salt, somebody’s suitcase,
your clothes were waiting for me.

I stood staring in parking lots,
the hatchback of my car open
like a mouth and my mouth
open like a hatch.

The brass buckle
on your leather belt still
burning like a sun.

About the poet:

Theta Pavis is a poet, blogger and award-winning journalist. A graduate of UCLA and of the Columbia School of Journalism, she lives with her husband, their seven-year-old daughter and a cat named Luna. Theta’s poems have appeared in numerous publications, including the Journal of New Jersey Poets.

About the poem:

“This poem is a snapshot of a time, seven years ago, when my sister was in a coma following a car crash. My daughter was only two months old when this happened, and the baby and I joined my entire family as we all converged near the hospital in Upstate New York. It seemed to snow there consistently for weeks. Eventually, my sister emerged from the coma with a severe traumatic brain injury.”

Poetry editors:

Judy Schaefer and Johanna Shapiro


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