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Putting Out What You Might Put Away

Updated: Dec 29, 2022

A background photo shows three small stuffed animals hanging and the text over it says poetry Putting Out What You Might Put Away by Renee Emerson

Putting Out What You Might Put Away

A crib and changing table are quietly dismantled but all the socks are paired confetti, and the hats and the layettes grown dusty in the drawers, hidden like teeth of a woman who will not smile with an entire smile. Eventually, the indents of where everything stood will vacuum flat. There will be no little sister this year. Everything was almost new, so we put it all in a box marked “another,” not foolish enough, this time, to sharpie “Hope” or “once more.” This spring, I let the children plant and tend all of the flowers, knowing they will never grow.


Renee Emerson is a homeschooling mom of six, and the author of Keeping Me Still (Winter Goose Publishing) and Threshing Floor (Jacar Press). Her poetry has been published in Cumberland River Review, Windhover, and Poetry South. She adjunct teaches online for Indiana Wesleyan University, and blogs about poetry, grief, and motherhood at


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