All that remains
Mindful to shut their back yard gate, I’d swept their basement
floor, re-checked their empty house for anything hidden, stored.
Nothing was there, nothing more.
Had I cleansed their home so well that even memories caught
in corners by spiders’ webs held only shadows now? There must
be a hoard of remnants
I hadn’t found before. I thought of a door I had not opened,
a crawl space where forgotten things might be. Switched on,
my silver flashlight was the key
to bits of history I’d hoped to find. On my belly, like my marble
days in dirt, I aimed my beam at a cache I’d overlooked. There
they were, Dad’s garden tools,
his screen wire trellis, his tomato cages, stakes and string and
a cushion he’d knelt on when he’d strung everything that needed
How tiny was his garden then, when a dozen squash was his
bounty, when cucumbers came in twos or threes; Mom loved
to cook them then.
I harvested those memories as I grew grass on Dad’s tiny spot,
long fallow and unplanted. Although their house would soon be
sold, these house parts were left, intended.