Poem: Kept


The antiques are piled up, one on the other.
For an hour before the auction the tourists
look at, paw, pick up this and that, deciding
what is worth bidding on and how much
they are willing to pay for a snippet
of someone else’s life, to fold into their own.
The room is full of anticipation.

Your home is full of such things,
each with a story, some of them going back
generations, stories passed along with furniture,
each of them adding up to who and what you are.
Looking around the auction house, you hesitate
to buy anything, afraid of bringing things
without stories, without soul, into your home.

This is what you have learned. To surround yourself
with soul, to choose the souls that fill your space.
Things are, you have learned, more animate
than you once believed. They carry energy,
but only as long as the stories that travel with them
are kept.

About this poem.

I often tell people who visit that everything in my house has a story. It’s true.


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