The house is cold. 
I’m wearing the fuzzy blue socks
my cousin gave me
two Christmases ago, when she still 
remembered who I was—
a cobalt blue talisman that 
makes me think of her 
whenever I open my sock drawer.

In my father’s sock drawer 
was a jumble of pennies, nickels, and dimes. 
With quarters he could buy a pack of Kools,
supposed to be soothing on the throat; 
and maybe they were, for the duration 
of his short life. 

The rain comes in torrents.
The street is a river where everyone 
I have ever known comes swimming by. 
I see them as if through the murky glass 
of a laundromat washer, turning, shifting, 
waving sometimes as they come into view. 

The Art of Patricia Whiting