The Attic Flew Out the Window

So much in our lives is sent to the attic
a place for memories to decay, or hide,
the images of families, the nice, and the sick
in tea chests along with thin doilies and the pride
of handicraft, layered with daguerreotype
of stiff, remote relatives we never knew.

These are nothing to us now.  It’s the living
we tried to bury in newer boxes, out of sight.
We sift through the unshuttered remains,
journals describing a shattered marriage, and lost children,
notes from friends and lovers
residues of a long life, class notes and skates, aluminum pans,
boxes of obtuse technical papers, all the useless receipts
and obligatory tax returns..

Rubbish Man simply flung it all
out the window.

For a moment the past flew by
descending, crashing to earth
three stories below
shattering attachments, and the voices
that roared out of the trunks
were stopped,.
leaving cluttered floppy disks in the grass,
smashed glass- framed honoraria,
and all the things we thought would be useful some time,
records and board games, monopoly houses underfoot.

Did  clearing the attic encumber us less,
take the voices from our heads
bring quiet to our gut?
This we don’t know,
even though
Rubbish Man
charged a lot..

Kent Bowker      12/6/2010