Letting go of more than clutter

you’re moving to the basement
big high-school kid, setting up shop downstairs
ruthlessly purging all that does not fit
your room and your new vision of yourself
cool. mature. unswervingly independent
stylish and streamlined and uncluttered

every drawer, every box, every shelf
attacked with energy and excitement
boxes, bags, crates fill up with the leftovers
of your childhood, six to fourteen
every “you” you tried on and moved out of
now shrugged off as though it never mattered

to you it seems so long ago, so childish
but I remember that boy so clearly
how he loved origami and peace signs
wooden swords and lightsabers
crazy-cool earrings and face-painting playdates
pokemon and uglydolls and trains

and my heart breaks with each casual toss
of a plaything we once shared
a book we once cuddled up to read
a gift I once gave you, carefully chosen
guaranteed to light up your face
with your famous enthusiasm

your room upstairs is empty now
only a few traces of you remain
bright stripes of paint, stuck decals, memories
we sit on the closet floor, one weeping, one comforting
I’m aching with the loss of who you were
the boy who laughed and played and lived here

deep down, I’m oh so proud of you
that you’ll be the one who breaks free
of this cycle of gripping so tightly
that tortures me each time I look around
and see my past choking out my present
its upkeep stealing time with those I love

you pat my back and soothe me
assuring me that what is yet to come
will be as good or better than the past
ah, my wise boy. I’ll strive to be like you
to let go when it’s time and look forward
to this changing life with hope and joy


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