Spilled Boxes From the Museum of Me

My closet is a museum
of whom I was, where I began.

Boxes hold tight to secrets,
the already known, and dreams
I hoped would grow, but never
found the right garden.

Photographs of a precocious child
dressed in secrets peers up from
plastic, sepia pages with eyes
that speak of lessons learned
from the darkest fairytales.

Not all is dreary, yellow hair 
captured in black and white
shows wind dancing with 
every strand as I chased sunlight
across my front yard.

Bright orange pops from a photo
in splashes of lace, a bold thumb
in the eye of every other girl
who pasteled her prom with expected. 
My rebellion shakes me with giggle
memories of how I stood out
in all my bold never fitting in. 

Time and places, faces remembered,
faces I can’t recall hold space on shelves
as a mish mash history book of my journey
to finding my way through Red Riding Hood’s
wolf pages with all their teeth I was able to outrun. 

©Susie Clevenger 2024


Sherry Blue Sky said…
I love best that orange prom dress among all the pastels. Perfect! And the way the wind danced in the child's yellow hair. Wonderful.
Susan said…
"My rebellion shakes me with giggle
memories of how I stood out
in all my bold never fitting in."
Love this giggle in the midst of so much to remember in the museum, the history book, the boxes, the dreams and seeds. A beautiful poem.
Sumana Roy said…
'the darkest fairytales'; the phrase is chilling but when it's followed by the bright orange darkness fades away. All memories are important in that we either learn or feel inspired. I like the phrase 'the Museum of Me' from the title.
Mary said…
Oh goodness, Susie, your poem tweaked mine. Except my 'closet' is boxes in the basement....so many treasures stored. Photographs and stuff - before all became digital. And I often wonder - now - who will care at all about these treasures when I am gone. But I can't bring myself to part with them - yet. Really a lovely poem, Susie.
Oooh love the finale of you finding your way through !
Fireblossom said…
With all your bold, never fitting in. That stands out to me--and I can relate to it! It reminds me of the mother in Little Women telling Jo something to the effect of how do you expect to be ordinary when you are so exceptional? Bright orange is never going to blend in but it's going to be noticed and only some people can pull it off.
Rajani said…
dreams that never found the right garden! A fabulous way to put it.. I like how early life rebellion brings on late life giggles!!!