The face of moral confusion
Scattered dust sprinkles my shelves
And all the abandoned knick-knacks I once adored,
Some of them were yours.
Cold darkness floods the vestibule,
A threatening orifice of
Old shoes in the door.
A pile of books on the floor,
Some of them gifts from you,
An electric typewriter high in the closet,
Pushed there by time’s current.
A pile of papers on the chair,
Odd pens and paperclips and rubber bands
Laying about, my father’s hat on a peg,
Grandma’s china still in a box,
Old family pictures on the wall,
And one of them is you.
A scuffed baseball mitt is tucked in a drawer
With a wallet never used, a birthday gift from you.
Old school notes, like a safety line to a life long lost.
An envelope of old postcards you sent,
From your holidays in places I never went.
Carefully wrapped Christmas decorations,
Waiting for a girlfriend or wife to use.
My old turtle aquarium,
Its occupant long deceased.
How it died I can’t remember,
Although it was terribly important at the time.
Where did all these keys come from?
And these plastic bags, too?
How many different sized envelopes does one person need?
Long unused accessories in a box,
Earrings and pins from my wild youth.
Unused linens neatly folded,
Old friends’ addresses on a piece of scrap paper
By the phone next to the out-of-date city maps.
And a three-year-old telephone book.
Two rejection letters on the fridge,
One from the school board
And one from you.