After eight weeks in hotel time, we drove north
to Thanksgiving dinner and start this household move.
Following my mind as it follows the objects
that cross time and state lines, house to house,
I find these things keep sanity, sanitary, sanctity:
A notebook for its lists, the scattered pens,
some blank with disuse or cold, primitive
against my own virtual place in the world,
a knotted phone charging cord as a nest
for the yellow plastic tree frog that started with us
15 years ago in Oregon, riding my pockets east;
caramel sugared almonds in a small box
that I pick my teeth around, having poor dentition;
two ticket stubs to a Peter Pan musical,
where my son, strung up and green, flew;
an eyeglass cleaning cloth, safe from use;
a meter of baker's twine and a short leather strip;
three sales invoices and a thick motel receipt;
a pressure gauge clipped to the lip of my black jacket
to help monitor the right rear and left front tires;
black suede gloves in the lower left jacket, with three cup hooks,
nickel plated and loose among dog treat crumbs;
right side jacket holds the gray wool hat & dog leash
and two Master lock keys on a hooked lanyard.
In my jeans are more key rings looped together:
for the house where we're guests,
for the new house right now way down the road,
and a fob to the deflating white car.
The back pockets hold trash that's to hand when there's no can,
napkins collected as a habit from the days of small runny noses;
six wood screws for the laundry room door hinges
that I'll replace after the washer and dryer pass through.
If I handed off to you the weight of these things,
could you cobble a compass, walk the dog,
pick up the thread and, suspended among homes, find me?