Dogs 2006

OLD DOGS
(11/25/06)


my mother
wasn't really
a collector
but she did keep
that which seemed important
for one reason
or another

being the only
relative within
hundreds of miles
I became caretaker
of that collection
upon her death

my sister left
detailed instructions
concerning the deposition
of certain family heirlooms
but beyond that
the decisions
were left
to me

dealing
with the furniture
appliances
clothing
knick knacks
et cetera
was easy
since I never had
much attachment
to the material

the paperwork
was the hardest
a legal idiot
I wasn't sure
what to keep
for estate purposes
but since Mom kept everything
much seemed superfluous
and the trash bags
quickly filled

at the bottom
of her parchment plenum
I found a beat-up box
with no indications
on the outside
as to what
was stored
within

I was shocked
and a bit dismayed
to find a large collection
of my past writings
all copies
the originals
long since destroyed
during a period in which
I blamed all my woes
on the crap I wrote
finally exorcising
those demons
with much rending
and flame

it was a time
when most
considered me
insane

except Mom
of course
who kept record
of my tormentors
as if they were
the only grandchildren
whom she'd ever
receive from me

I was torn
finally deciding
to pack them up
without reading
and store them
with the rest
of her archives

five years later
I opened that box
and took inventory

what I saw
didn't disturb me
for the madness contained
on those pages

what I saw
disturbed me
because it still matched
the madness
in my everyday
mind