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POEM: Unequipped


I browse the poetry sections of bookstores,
see my books there on the shelves.
I gave them all up when we said goodbye.
For the second time in my adult life
I am without possessions.
The last time I was homeless
my poetry collection was the one thing I saved.
This time I donated thousands of books
to the Friends of Tucson Public Library.
I left box after box in a metal shed,
no one to help because the volunteers are old
and the pandemic kept them away.
I gave my art to a relative,
left all the furniture with my former partner.
Dishes, pots, pans, mugs —
the odds and ends of grown-up-ness;
all these I drove away from, into the desert.
Now I’m preparing to settle down again,
needing to start from scratch.
No bed, no couch, no chairs, no table,
nothing to put in the cupboards,
nothing to store in the medicine cabinet.
At 48 years old I’m a teenager again,
recently kicked out of my parents’ house,
woefully unequipped for real life.

/ / /

6 January 2021
Albany NY

Published in My poems Poetry


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