Friday, 26 May 2023



by Laura Ann Reed

And now, when I summon up
that hamper in my parents’ room,

what do I seek to resurrect if not
the daydreams I inhabited

in that shadowed space?
I want them back—

those idle thoughts
of the duration I could stay

safely hidden, and of how
good the special silence there.

Good too, those ripe,
familiar smells of my

parents—their underwear co-
mingling without shouts or swearing.

I want it back—that proximity
to my mother’s closet, where  

at least six shirtwaist dresses
waited for me to steal among

them and stow my longing between
plaids and floral patterns. Then,

like an afterthought—behind all
those coats and crisp white blouses—

that taffeta gown with its rainbow
sheen I’d never seen her wear,

its cool, deep folds holding the perfume
of who she’d been before I knew her.

* * * * *

"Inhabited" was first published in MacQueen's Quinterly and is part of Laura Ann Reed's collection Shadows Thrown (Sungold Editions, 2023)

Laura Ann Reed, a San Francisco Bay Area native, taught modern dance and ballet at the University of California, Berkeley before working as a leadership development trainer at the San Francisco headquarters of the United States Environmental Protection Agency. Her work has appeared in numerous journals and anthologies in the United States, Canada, and Britain. She is the author of the chapbook, Shadows Thrown (2023). Laura and her husband live in the Pacific Northwest.

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