I arrange your clothes on the bed like I always do,
In three different sizes small, medium, and large,
Before I put them in the closet. I separate
The whites from the blues and the formal
From the casual clothes. You used to like this
Order amidst your chaos, this known form 
Of countries. You were afraid of the unknown
Monsters in your closet. The Bogeyman you would say,
I held your hand and opened the closet, as you closed
Your eyes I showed you your green sweater. I was
Your God then. I created your universe and made
Your world. I showed you that light can shine in
Darkness. But you, you don't need me like this anymore.
You seek out unknown skin of countries, mesmerized
By the light of an island of spirits. You don't need me
To hold your hand. You doubt as plants do in winter looking
For the sun in the ice's cold fingers when I
Answer your questions.
You are content with distance.
Maybe somehow I can still hold you in these
Details of folded clothes and matched colors.
Perhaps this form and certainty can draw me closer to you
But even these clothes don't fit you anymore.
I am slowly losing you, the clothes are messed and dirtied.
I hear footsteps walking towards me, I see
You are here with your newness. Somehow I
Recognize you even in your strange ways
Because you are a part of me whether you liked it or not.
You bend down and reach for my hand as I used to,
We pick up the messy and dirty clothes. We store it
In a box. We clean out the closet where I used to perform
These rituals of folding and matching. This new form and emptiness
May be an ending or perhaps just a new beginning.

Joshua Berida lives and writes in the Philippines. He graduated from the Ateneo de Manila University with a degree totally unrelated to literature. He has publications and forthcoming publications in Commonline, Grey Sparrow, Flutter, Front Porch Review, The Foundling Review and others.

This poem came to life whenever I see parents with their kids. In the Philippines, parents play a big role in the lives of their children it can be a good or a bad thing depending on perspective. It's also about finding something new in the familiar, about letting go, and about a lot of other things that need to be discovered.



Copyright 2009