The assistant at the Goodwill store recognizes
the old woman who comes in and brings
three pairs of black dress shoes, men’s size 10.
She was here last week, dropped off a bag of shirts.
Crisp collars, good quality, they sold quickly.
Another time, two suits. A winter coat, never worn.
The assistant has seen it before. They bring
the dress clothes first. Later, the sweatpants
and the everyday jackets. They hesitate
when they hand over the first small bundle.
Then they grow bolder, and the bags get larger.
Until they don’t come anymore.
He knows they keep the faded favorites
longest: the grey sweater with the frayed seam,
the worn slippers. They are not fit to donate anyway.
Agnes Vojta grew up in Germany and now lives in Rolla, Missouri where she teaches physics at Missouri S&T and hikes the Ozarks. She is the author of Porous Land, The Eden of Perhaps, and A Coracle for Dreams, all published by Spartan Press. Her joint project with the painter Greg Edmondson, Dark Matter, was on exhibit at the Smalter Gallery in Kansas City in April 2022.Most recently, she has been collaborating with eight other poets on the book Wild Muse: OzarksNature Poetry (Cornerpost Press, December 2022.) Her poems have appeared in a variety of magazines; you can read some of them on her website agnesvojta.com.