The Closet–Response to Monday Morning Writing Prompt

191/365 (July 17th, 2009) My Cluttered Closet

Image by cseeman via Flickr

The Closet

Overpowering perfume (rose)
lingers, crushes, blends with mold.
Hangers, scattered on the floor,
some padded with purple velour,
once held cashmere sweaters.

The door of the safe is ajar,
as it has been for years,
the combination hidden too well.
Heavy chains of gold entangle
with a strand of perfect pearls
and a locket that holds a black
and white tattered photo
of her youngest daughter
and a dent from a tiny tooth.

Shelves of shoeboxes overflow—
twenty years worth of receipts,
silent witnesses to money tossed
at frivolity. In my memory I hear
angry words hurled in defense
of wanton spending.

Bell bottoms cavort with
shoulder pads. Browns and beige,
no color. No prints. Just tepid tan and
one black knit suit.
I finger the smoothness
of silk and satin, the texture
of brocades and polyester.

In the far corner a cane leans
against a walker.
The week after she died I moved in.

I worked this poem in response Monday Morning Writing Prompt. While it is based on some aspects of actual closets, the rather dark nuances are a product of my imagination. I invented a lot in order to involve more senses. I hope to see some of your work, too. I welcome any critique/suggestions you may have.


9 thoughts on “The Closet–Response to Monday Morning Writing Prompt

  1. mish says:

    I looooved this Victoria! 🙂 Each item tells its own story… the “bell bottoms” of the ’70’s and “shoulder pads” of the ’80’s brought a smile to my face…


  2. vivinfrance says:

    I lov’yed the (unconscious?) pun of “dent from a tiny tooth”, but I loved even more the glimpse you gave us into ‘your’ closet.


    • Victoria says:

      This is actually based on my Mom’s closet and the unconscious pun is the description I have of a locket from when I was 3 or 4. It has a small photo of my mom, of me and the dent (from my tooth). Should have taken a photo. I’m too afflicted with OCD to have a messy closet. Arrrgh.


  3. zongrik says:

    this really strikes me – Heavy chains of gold entangle because for some reason, this is one of the few things I have patience for, to untangle chains of gold


  4. What a story a closet could tell. This one – the product of experience and imagination – is a wonderful illustration of that. How poignant to picture the youthful hopes and dreams of bell bottoms cavorting with sholder pads against the walker and cane and someone else moving into her place.

    Well considered and beautifully executed, Victoria. Bravo! I enjoyed it very much. Thanks!


  5. trisha says:

    what a poem! A fabulous portrayal of a wardrobe, that ended with the stories deeply woven with its contents.


  6. Jingle says:

    so many details..
    it takes wit and patient to place them in a poem.
    well done.

    Happy New Year!


  7. Jingle says:

    I wish I have more time to take this challenge,
    i always enjoy writing for challenges.
    sorry for being absent…
    so much to do…

    keep posting..


  8. souldipper says:

    Thanks you for a great “sense massage”. One of the lines that really caught me: “Bell bottoms cavort with
    shoulder pads.”

    It conjures visions of all sorts of playfulness never allowed the direct look.


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