the duck-and-huddle of the Atomic Age
drove my parents partially underground
to build a cement-block bomb shelter
with a hollow-door shield against Castro’s fierce beard—
a helter-skelter haven for hoarding
leftovers that should have dearly departed:
chipped furniture, glass baluster vases,
and piles of Life, Look, and Seven Sisters
once proudly fanning the walnut veneer
of Mom’s “Early American” coffee table—
ranch un-chic she wedged into that fallout tumble
after family heirlooms turned up at her door
and she had good cents to mix Chinese Chippendale,
Canton blue porcelain and oxblood lamps
with Middle Tennessee antiques and coin silver
shadowboxed against muted charcoal gray.
they were hoarders of 57-year memory.
my possessions accumulate fewer by year,
the odds and ends of what might have been.
what is it to be a professional packer
the automaton sorter of broken houses?
am I brave enough to stroke the tiger stripes
of a quarter-sawn oak library table,
where I will dine breakfast-lunch-dinner,
going against the grain that mahogany
is more tasteful, after all, my dear?
Oak is sturdy, and whatever, it’s only stuff.
Photo credit: Marcelo Montecino [CC BY-SA 2.0 (http://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/2.0)], via Wikimedia Commons
“Complicated“: Who needs it? I’m downsizing.