Day 4 NaPoWriMo
Detritus of sixty-some odd years added to
the 'must keeps' of the parental sort.
Meaningful to them, to him
but not the kids, We don't need
more stuff; downsizing they say.
Don't have time to dust or rearrange
to accommodate the bits and pieces of his life.
We have our memories, pictures. Have
a garage sale. Your room isn't very big, you know...
How do you price a memory?
Gauge its worth?
Sure, he saved for three months to buy
this or that--
that matters little now.
How do you haggle over
a life collected?
Band medals earned,
a result of endless hours' practice
preserved behind glass on faded felt.
Hanger shaped letter sweater
with dust-lined shoulders.
Even Goodwill will shake its head.
Moth-eaten; won't keep anyone warm.
Someone will want the fifty-year old Ludwigs
but never for the money's worth
let alone the value of endless nights listening, watching
him play. Someone may want
a two-hundred year old bedroom set
carved from black walnut trees felled
on the family farm. But they won't care
or have known
the six generations of children born in that bed
or the great-great-great uncle who created
and then died in it. besides,
no one uses full-sized beds anymore.
Sad to think of flotsam selling for five dollars or fifty cents.
Kids too busy to help. Grandma, we have swim practice
or scouts or want to hang out at the mall.
One might be tempted to simply
hang on to everything as the folks did.
for years insured against loss
now nothing more
than a pile by the side of the road on trash day.
Picked up and casually, carelessly tossed
into the maw that crunches,
snacks on yesterdays.
Then, always hungry for more,
drives on down to the next stop.
A missed photo,
black and white with rippled edges
flutters in the wind
then skitters like last leaf.
Snowing again today.
Will winter ever end?