Wedged into a pocket, this folded paper scrap
has been flattened to a pink-tinged patch –
faint echo to the orange plaid cotton shorts
that even back then barely cupped my butt.
Milk tops the chart. Then bottled water,
crackers, paper towels: staples bought in bulk,
my husband’s jurisdiction – meaning
we must have made several stops, together.
Then why is “Home Depot” scratched out but
not the light bulb we would have found there?
Batteries for him, styling gel for me,
emery boards, wasp spray, glycerin for shine:
What contingencies were we equipping for,
why were we running everywhere at once?
And now I see it: Ritter Sport, Almond Joy,
Mars Bars and Neccos for the father
whose ravenous sweet tooth was not what
killed him. In the summer of that last birthday
who could have known there would be
no more road trips to buy for, no place to go but
home? I’ll never wear these shorts again.