I have a new publication in October Hill Magazine, Spring Issue, page 92. The title of the poem is “Estate Sale”. You can also read the poem here, (but the format is not correct. I don’t know how to fix it.)
“When someone is missing, their possessions take on meanings.”
– Claudia Emerson (1957-2014)
How the day lays the gray fog into rain
That presses on fallen leaves with bent stems.
Am I ready to sweep them into bags –
Gently used jackets, old woven mittens?
Tell me who needs this apparel of trees
One leaf still clings, my father, not yet braced
To give up his old toys, schoolbooks, first gun.
He wrote a memoir that ended with me.
Perhaps he thought I would know my story,
Or he didn’t want to get it all wrong.
A sole leaf still being written on bark,
He cleaves to the long branch of his mother.
An ancient oak, pruned to keep her health up,
She cannot stretch her limbs out to the clouds.
Instead, her girth grows thick, her stature short,
A broad support for plumage & branches,
To which father maintains a firm handhold.
I gather their china, albums, & garlands.
I wash her face & dress her in twinkling lights.
Father lets go as I head to the sale.