I remind myself of Mother,

her figurines for every season—

the summer goosegirl,

the winter angels.


She cried when we threw out

some broken dishes,

as if they had feelings,

as if they didn’t want to go.


What about this doll, now, with her necklace

of china beads and cherry pits.

She was Grandmother’s.

I don’t know what to do.


A photo of the second grade class

in the school that was so awful

that I made up stories

about my part in a Christmas play.


When I was ten, all the girls had

these pop-it beads.

I wore them to the museum

the day we learned about snakes.


So many candlesticks,

souvenir coffee mugs,

photos of dead friends—

one of murder, two of AIDS.


I shall keep the brass pail.

Mother kept ivy in it.

I keep pinecones.

But why keep pinecones?


These bottles look nice in a sunny window.

Will I have a sunny window?

This plate looks nice under the hurricane lamp.

Shall I keep the lamp?


One comment on “DOWNSIZING

  1. Oh, Mary, another wonder. Interestingly, a day or two before this appeared I was at my sister’s, and all the furniture and china, etc., etc., etc., that had been in the house in which we grew up, generated a powerful sense of nostalgia and melancholy in me.

    I go to my sister’s fairly often, so I see all that on a regular basis. I don’t know why this time was so nostalgic, but the memories and feelings were difficult to get through – not because the memories/feelings themselves were difficult, but maybe because they were, rather, good and I missed them and the people and the way things were.

    Thank you for helping me find the perspective I needed. Bless you!

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