Memories of Muffs

There was a muff. It was white, milky white.
Was it mine or someone else’s? I don’t
remember. I was so small at the time,

I don’t know if I would have understood
the difference. It was white, whiter, softer

than anything else I’d ever touched. It
was made of rabbit fur, and just my size.

I remember sitting on the front steps,
in my yellow summer shorts, stroking it,
tucking my hands inside it, resting it

on my bare, pale, scrawny, little-girl thighs.
I think it must have belonged to someone,

because I remember I wanted it,
wanted to hide it away. It might be

the first thing I recall really wanting,
aside from my mother’s attention.
Was it even real? I’ve no idea

what happened to it, or even if I
ever saw it again after that day.

It was so very long ago. Mimi
wanted a warm muff when she was so cold,

but that wasn’t summer. It was the last
thing she wanted, aside from love. The last
thing my mother wanted, other than to

tell us she loved us all very much, was
a milkshake. She’d asked for my cherry jam,

but then forgot about it, and what she
actually had was that milkshake, saying,

“Oh, that was so good!” Then she smiled, and slept,
like Mimi slept, her hand fallen from the muff.

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4 responses to “Memories of Muffs

  1. I like the muff as a symbol – i was the only one in the room when my dad died, my mind locked onto the ending of the poem and remembered that day

    • I had just been to see La Boheme, and it was a little rough, since the way Mimi dies in the opera was so similar to how my mom passed. So, yes, that’s pretty much what was on my mind. Intermingling of ages, eras, times, tempos, events.

  2. WOW. This brought back an uncomfortable memory for me, but it doesn’t matter–you write so beautifully.

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