Cleaning Out Their House


Pocket knives, tape measures.
An extensive collection of coins.

Nails, screws, numerous sizes, and sets
of nail clippers, files, polishes and brushes.

Shoes, always shoes. And dresses.
Shirts and ties. Loud and quiet.

The sick and the dead are forever quiet,
never quite quiet. Our solicitude’s unnecessary.

Playing cards, backgammon games,
chess. Every move’s a variation on the next.

And so it is with words, numbers,
shapes and sizes. Feet and hands,

knees and eyes. Why and where and how won’t matter
once we've divided the bags of clothes

among the poor and destitute. It’s not too hard
to laugh too hard. The son and daughter deliver them

and then go home. Clocks and watches, letters, wallets.
Photographs in which the name and face don’t match.


Copyright 2013 by Robert Ronnow.