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Items 401-500, or gratitude for Allister, a good and faithful dog.

Marie Kondo would say
thank you to the hangers
for holding the clothes faithfully,
and then let them go.

My mother’s dog
had a passion for hangers.
Chewed bits followed him everywhere,
a trail of little plastic crumbs until

he died, violently.

Brown eyes rimmed in wild knowing,
he saw death, and surrendered.
“I love you,” he said,
and it’s OK,
you can let me go.”

I couldn’t help but think of my mom’s beloved dog Allister as I decluttered all of those plastic hangers. His last gift to her was to look her in the eyes as he died and to tell her, in the way a deeply wise dog can, that he had accepted his death (and that she could too).

Stuffies are so hard to get rid of! They multiply mysteriously, much like hangers. Our daughter has her favorites (Mousie, BiBa, Brodie, Fuzzy Puppy) and I’m trying to keep the collection pared down to the ones she chooses to play with over and over again.

One more thing, my mother is the sweetest. Do you see those snowman buttons in the graphic? One year for Christmas when I was still teaching she gave me a snow day themed kit with tea, hot cocoa, a new book, and other fun stuff to keep me occupied if school was canceled. She gives the most thoughtful gifts.