Stacks of papers to shuffle through,
Bags of bags of bags
And piles and piles and piles
All so dusky in the dim
Cold darkness of the house.
Free samples of shampoo,
Hotel bars of soap,
Not just one or three or two
But dozens kept closeted with
Bags of candles dark with soot.
Unopened gifts, gloves and scarves
Linen tablecloths and towel sets,
Rolls of tape and tape and tape
Masking, electric and cellophane
To put every thing back together again.
Smallish boxes, cardboard and wood
Holding photographic lesions left in silver
Always happy smiling grinning.
How could the next moment have been
So harsh, remembered only with the tart
And pained scraping of bitter teeth
Behind pursed yet hollow searing lips.
Letters to Mother during the War,
Mothers Day cards made in school,
Fathers Day cards bought by children grown,
Tattered drawings by nieces too old to remember
What they drew or why,
Each face grinned so emphatically.
Suits contained the serious remains
Of funeral services, or graduations,
Funeral services and convocations,
Funeral services and weddings,
Dead leaved branches
Tattered and worn
Scraped against the windows
In the rain as I left.