It’s not the Persian carpet, the house , car or jewels,
but the little things that whisper or suggest
even when they’re silent what I little know,
of where, when, why, who or even what about her life gone by:
Her medicine chest, kitchen and pantry, bedsheets and closets;
eleven hard drives in a plastic ziplock — meticulously destroyed.
An unspent bullet in still stale air and cluttered dark.
A crochet hook, sewing kit, items for recycling.
Old photographs, TP and paper towels;
Bank statements, letters, perfume, and lotions,
Detergents, linens, a dog dish and bird feeder– half full.
A mail box, still alive, when emptied, cries out
for a little more, until rewarded with delicious junk mail and collection letters.
Pills, notions, lotions, purses, shoes, clothes,
and a hundred hand written pages from a lined spiral notebook
filled with fear and voices speaking in silent audibles.
Dry plants, and flower beds, disconnected sprinklers, old hoses and garden tools.
Cruel little things speak in their sharp edged forked foreign tongue.
Sad little things that hint of little pleasures, big plans, and hope of love.
I follow the footpaths through the underbrush of her tangled troubled life.
I walk there barefoot aware and wary of thorns, adders, asps, and broken glass.
The little things leave weeping little cuts that still wait and want to heal.
Give some ashes back to the shore
Of the oceans she loved so;
back to the sands she walked before
And to the tides that ebb and flow.
Give some back to the little towns
Where she was born and nourished
And those cities of renown
Where she grew up and flourished.
Give back some to the vaulting team
Who won a national championship;
Give some to mountain lake and stream
And days and nights of camping trips.
Give some back to that long gone time
Of promise and hope for love,
When it was sure that she would climb
More high and far than stars above.
But give nothing to her demons,
prescriptions, drugs, or faulty brain,
Or the living nightmare dreaming,
That filled her life with fear and pain.
None of us could correct her course
Marked by conflict, abuse and strife;
She left us sadness, not remorse,
So Give back. Give her back again
To her best self, the girl she was
To the woman’s soul deep within
And give to her remembered love.