A farewell to a life

In one of the back bedrooms of your emptied house,
you sit for a moment on the stepstool you were using
to dust out the vintage cobwebs.
The others are out by the front porch,
having a celebratory coffee.

The last thing now to do, before the painters and cleaners arrive,
is to take down the faded pictures.
And, one by one, you lay them in bubble wrapped boxes.
Geez, you know, the floors are quite a bit of a different colour
where things used to sit in the years.
Vivid squares and rectangles left by absent pictures.
The bunnies of dust, forgotten gum wrappers from the kids,
lost cat toys. It’s so hard to comprehend them, to look at them,
and you think that they seem to have absorbed all of the living,
all of the emotions, from this life of yours now.

Whoever said a house is not a home surely did not live here.
Sometime, more than once, yes more than once,
the fine bones of your heart were broken,
and then mended at oddly changed angles.
Fit for the flight of a fairy’s fancy? No.
But well enough to see you to this day.
It’s the first time you ever hired a Mover to do the gruntwork.
A realization that you, your friends, and even your “kids”,
are a little unsuited for it now.

In this early summer heat, you look down at spindly arms and legs,
amazed by the smoothness of the hairless skin, by the blue tattoos
that have formed underneath, unerasable.
By the freckled speckles of liver spots,
which you imagine denote the locations of towns and villages
along your rivers of pain.

What now, when I get up from this stool? you think.
Put a damper on the coffee crowd out front?
Pull your hat down a bit, wear something of a smile, grab a coffee.
Jump into the pickup with son and grandson.
Off into the unknown.
May just be….the flight of a fairy’s fancy.

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