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POEM: All Saints Day

All Saints Day

In the guest bedroom is a closet
filled floor to ceiling with cardboard
boxes, stacked like the Tower of Babel.

I read once that if you put a box
in the closet for a year and can’t
remember what’s in it,

that means it’s okay to throw out.
But I’ve never been able to leave
things sealed up that long.

Curiosity, catlike, creeps over me,
finds me slicing through the tape,
pulling back the cardboard flaps.

Every box is full of pictures.
They’re the only things worth keeping.
I even remember most of the names.

Now it’s the night before the night
before All Saints Day.
I’m standing in front of an open box,

holding your picture in my hand.
It’s the one we took in Grand Central,
where you’re kissing me on the cheek.

I’m supposed to pack it away,
shove it into a dark corner with the others.
Instead I stand fixed, rooted,

looking down at this most precious of faces,
trying to think of anything
that will let me hold on just a little longer.

30 August 2012
Auburn, AL

Published in My poems Poetry


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