Last Autumn, I gave several of my husband's dress shirts
and plaid flannel shirts to our grandsons
who seemingly have become young men overnight.
I threw out worn T-shirts, keeping two
for cleaning rags that have grown smaller and smaller
as the bleach breaks them down to threadbare.
It's a gradual letting go which I've received
unasked for advice regarding the timing
from both strangers and family;
as if they do not know why some days
I'll wear one of his dark Hawaiian shirts,
black with Escher-like goldfish;
as if they do not understand why some nights
and days I've worn the last pajama bottoms he wore,
his name in black indelible ink on the tag.
Yesterday, I gave our older son an Alpaca-lined
black raincoat that was his father's, only
missing one button and him inside it.
They say grief is a process; they just don't tell you
the smallest details, like what to do with his single socks
or a hole at the toe that breaks my heart unexpectedly.