Grace Paley

(11 December 1922 – 22 August 2007 / Bronx, New York)

Hand Me Downs


My love rests on the couch
in the sweater and bones of old age

I have stopped reading to look at him I take
his hand I am shawled in my own somewhat
wrinkled still serviceable skin

No one knows what to do with these
hand-me-downs love them I suppose

weren't they born in and out of
dignity by our mothers and
fathers even our children in
the grip of merciless genes will
wear these garments

may their old lovers greet and
touch them then in the bare light
of that last beauty

Submitted: Thursday, April 19, 2012

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