“Do You Want These Old Things I Saved?”: Rhythmic Chants by My Mom

An Ellen Tracy Blazer Collection

Welcome, darling.
So good to have you visit.
Come this way because
I have a question.
Do you want,
Do you want,
Do you want
These nice wool blazers?
I wore them to conferences back in the day.
They’ve got a boxy fit,
Plus some shoulder pads,
But you could make them work—
Don’t you think?
These blazers could be kind of cool!

My Third-Grade Artwork

Hey, here’s a giraffe that you drew with Cray-Pas.
Let’s look at it and remember
When you made it.
You did such a beautiful job.
We could toss it in the recycling bin,
But that feels wrong,
That feels wrong.
So I’m rolling it back up
And keeping it in this garbage bag.

Next time you’re here,
Let’s reassess this work.
For now it shall remain
In this black Hefty bag,
And go back under your bed,
In my handy storage bin.

Clippings from the “Ask Amy” Advice Column, 2010-Present

Just in case you didn’t see
The links I sent—
Here they are in hard copy.
I laminated one of them.
Should we take a look?
Let’s browse Amy’s opinions on
Sisters, mothers, dating, friends.
Her advice is very helpful, no?
Sometimes it’s nice to read advice
From a neutral source like Amy,
Especially when that advice is similar
To what I might say,
I might say.

VHS Tapes (Includes Unopened Box Sets Purchased at Costco in 1999)

What if there’s a day when you want to watch “Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,”
But not on Amazon Prime Video?
How about the analog experience—
Remember when that was all we had?
What if there’s a day when that is all we have?
What if the Internet goes away?
Let’s save these tapes for the future.
You’ll be glad I did.

Assorted Loafers

Some of these are hard,
And some of these are soft.
I wore them with those blazers to conferences.
They’re still in good condition—
Why don’t you take a pair?
Let’s leave them in my closet
In case you change your mind
And at some point decide
That you want to dress
Like a professional.
Yes, that’s what I said.
Sometimes it’s O.K. to dress

Cooking Light’s “Annual Recipes 1997” Cookbook

I know you like to get your recipes
From Google, but
This big book has some winners, too.
Maybe take it with you in case you need
Creative substitutes for heavy cream
In a chicken lasagna alfredo.
Cooking yourself nice dinners is within reach.

An Ellen Tracy Ankle-Length Wool Skirt

I will admit this one’s a little scratchy,
But if you wear nylons, as I did,
It’s not so bad.
Can you try it on?
Can you try it on?
Now you look like me in 1989.
Yes, that’s perfect—please give this skirt
A whole new life.
Do you have a conference coming up?
Don’t forget the nylons.
And how about a belt? I have chunky ones
Right back here,
In the depths of my closet.
Let me pull out some stylish belts
For you to enjoy.

A Paisley Liz Claiborne Scarf

Do you want this, too?
To complete the look?
That’s O.K.—it’s too much, I know.
No, it’s fine.
Let’s put something in the giveaway pile!
You have your own style and this isn’t it.
(What is your style? Sort of like a scarecrow?)
I’ll lay this scarf here on the pile.
No, it’s O.K.—I can say goodbye!

A Clock Shaped Like a Cat

Do you like this? Isn’t it adorable?
I know you can just look at your phone,
But wouldn’t it be nice to look away from it
Great, you like it—take it, please!
I have five more downstairs—you can give them to your friends.
Hey, this mom has pretty good taste!
Don’t you agree?
Thanks for coming, sweetie.
I love you, and
If you change your mind
About that Liz Claiborne scarf,
Let me know!
Let me know!
I won’t give it away just yet,
For everything old is new again.
Let’s make it so.

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