Monday, June 9, 2014

ann's house:: emptying out

a bare rod and two wire hooks in an empty closet -
the bright orange carpeting almost spotless, still
 white cotton sheets shield the emptied shelves -
shelves once stacked with fruits in mason jars
 a few boxes of board games sit on the counter -
above the now empty cupboards in the rec room
 the bar shelves where glasses and bottles had perched -
where they had gathered when their nights were empty
 the lone lamp stranded on the paneled wall -
glows a forlorn survey of the emptying room
the twin beds in the attic room are still for sale -
their bedside tables and chests of drawers emptied out
old frames and scrapbooks lie on a desolate shag -
all emptied of photos and family mementos
 empty vases at a dollar a piece wait for a buyer -
to fill again with bouquets bright as the tv tray's
the basement door is locked, bolted and barred -
as always now even when the house is emptied out

Ann and her late husband Lou had lived in this house for 60 years - 60 years of cumulative belongings to empty out, to eviscerate piece by piece to the best offer of the nostalgic gatherers, the predatory collectors, the ambivalent deal seekers...
When the house is emptied of the last chair, lamp, book, picture, ornament, tool, memory - will it remain to be re-modelled and refilled with new chairs, lamps, books - or will it die in a dusty heap of splintered wood, crushed doors and shattered glass...
I preserve a few images of it in memory of Lou who built everything in it, who tended the garden meticulously, whose paintbrush was ever handy for a fresh coat, and who died in his own house - never having to see it now, in its sadly empty state...

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