I kept you
when everyone else had put away their childhood friend,
and even my younger sisters
but you stayed on my bed
through every age –
the day my kitty died,
the year I wore only black and pierced my own lip,
the nights I cried for boys I’d thought I loved.
Everything changed, but you.
You stayed through high school and college
and moving in with a man
who I left
and moving out again.
It was that winter that I lost you,
somewhere in between homes.
Months passed that I cried every day,
despairing over thoughts of you
in a dumpster or on the street.
Then one day
a friend came by
and thrust a pillowcase with a small bulge into my arms.
I unwrapped this thing
with no sliver of hope that the bulge could be you,
but there you were,
your head bandaged like a wounded soldier
to contain the old, clotted, cotton stuffing
that is you.
I smelled that smell
that even months under snow could not undo
and I cried into you