In Praise of Small Closets

Compressing our common lives
Into pre-World War One America,

Our hundred year old house has
Space for two dozen relatives and friends

To pray or sing, stuff themselves,
And separate into gender huddles

For bourbon and talk of the Kaiser and the Titanic
And sherry and sock darning and talk of home remedies for baby colic.

What it lacks are today’s small barn-like closets
to hold the acres of clothing that cover our 21st century insecurities.

Husband and wife get a small space under the eaves.
A few dresses and suits, two for work and one for Sunday–no more.

My wife and I chafe a bit, she more than I, at the inconvenience.

Our insecurities are larger than our ancestors—
still, we are more Desi and Lucy-sized than Super Sized.

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