Thursday, March 5, 2009

Up in the Attic

That crusty old screen with its peeling green paint
and missing hinges. That pair
of Rossignols in the rafters
with the bear trap bindings. That yellow
steamer trunk stuffed with high school scrapbooks
and old love letters. That wall of grey
metal file cabinets crammed
with obsolete lesson plans.
That kerosene lamp I had wired
for electricity but never used.

That mattress and box springs
I’ve been storing for Michael
should probably be donated to
the battered women’s shelter.
That dining room table
we bought second-hand
from the family in Beverly Hills.
That Victorian birdcage
complete with canary
that Emma always thought was alive.

That fake ficus tree
I bought in a yard sale
to fill in a corner
where nothing else fit.
That musty bolt of floral chintz
would have made great slipcovers
if I’d ever gotten around to it.

That black plastic foot locker filled
with file folders, transcripts, and audio-tapes.
That dissertation debris: I promised
the Human Subjects Committee
I would dispose of it within ten years.
Clearly a lie.

That set of Ben Hogans
you got
the year we were married.
That fight we had
because you bought them
without asking me first.
That miniature doll house belonged
to Melissa. That I’ve kept it this long
is amazing.

That dented brass headboard
I bought at an auction,
that old gooseneck lamp
I found at a yard sale,
and that reindeer skin rug
I picked up in Norway
are perfect examples of
buyer’s regret.

That big, red
Selectric over there on the table
predeceased the word processor
by three or four years.
That machine was a marvel
with its built-in white out key
and instant carriage return.

That old raccoon coat
that Mom wore in the 20’s.
That brown mink stole
with the glass eyes and tails
may still be of interest to
the local consigner.

I should call her tomorrow
and see what she says.

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