Newlywed, by Heidi Sheldon

These shells you’ve shed for me
to fold and classify
on your side of our bed,
are your body in your absence.
With a quick shake,
I snap out wrinkles expertly, maternally:
the stiffness in your jeans,
socks that hold your shape,
business casual and favorite bands.
I hold them to my chest
and bring seam to seam.
More confident with this than your skin,
I lay each down
with a final drag
of my fingers across the top,
hoping you’ll approve.

Heidi Sheldon is a teacher and freelance writer in eastern Connecticut. She is currently in her final year as a graduate student studying literature and language at the University of Connecticut. She has recently launched a blog with her husband at which discusses teaching, culture, and film.

Heidi Sheldon - Bio Pic


  1. DON SPAETH says:

    There are certain lines in poetry that carry Truth in them. This is the prize I search out as I read through works of hopeful poets. “More confident with this than your skin” is one of those lines.
    Of course the narrator is more confident-more comfortable-with her husband’s socks and pants than with her newlywed husband himself. How simple to arrange and fold his clothes. How strange and difficult to meld her life with his.
    Think of the courage it takes to write those few words.

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