There are loves from which I take
some pleasure of never healing from,
which perhaps explains why I never sent
the sleeping bag with a broken zipper
back to LL Bean for another,
the sleeping bag my mother
bought me for Girl Scout Camp,
larvae-shaped, with pine trees
printed on blue felt, meant for a boy,
in which my tent mate and I
discovered we fit quite well
one night after a campfire and hearty songs.
There is that old, green parka from my 20’s,
so puffy I could not bend my arms,
in what was then called a snapshot,
a square photo, pinned to a corkboard,
stuck to a fridge, hinged in a scrapbook,
all those women who would not love me,
and my arm around them, losing its puff,
the feathers seeping out because
of some imperfect hem or slow depletion.
I was going to ask them to replace
the eyelet, the one golden eye of
a moccasin, where the yellow-brown
snake of a lace goes through.
One turtleneck lost its peachy color.
After just one wash, it turned somber.
I am still trying to figure out how to explain it.
There are the sweaters, yoked
with flowers or snowflakes,
still pilly, kept in a cedar chest,
their pearl button trios all gone.
Somewhere still at LL Bean there must be
a wooden drawer, as in a fairytale,
spilling with feathers, eyelets, and buttons.
My father’s LL Bean mud-brown hiking boots
which he cleaned with a toothbrush
are here, their leather tongues stiff with age,
on the floor of his closet in the memory unit,
suddenly irreplaceable, though
when I tell him about the end
of the lifetime guarantee he says
he can’t imagine anyone would ask
for a replacement after so much time.