Wrapping Up

July 21, 2017

The things we had collected over the years

seemed to lose their value overnight, their worth

seeping beneath the pine boards, down and through

the cellar’s dirt floor. We considered mounding

 

all of it in the back of my pickup,

and a slow procession to the town dump,

the whole of it cremated, or carted off

and left to rot unmarked in some landfill.

 

A yard sale seemed frivolous and hopeful--

sunny morning, cash box on a card table,

wishing together that strangers might find

some good in our debris. We resolved

 

that the second-hand shop behind the church

was the best place to leave our disowned treasures,

presents wrapped with a minimum of care

in copier boxes and trash bags left

 

for others to unwrap: let someone else

appraise the collection, affix a price tag

to those memories, let us depart believing

some use was preserved in the oddments,

 

tools and souvenirs, though all those years

had somehow bled right through the sheet-stripped bed,

the rim-chipped bowl, our cupped and empty hands.

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