a wedding ring,
a beaded rosary,
check stubs with OUR names.
And of course, some remnants are harder to unsee:
the dress that hangs like a ghost in my childhood closet,
the album filled with pictures of promises (and lies),
and our growing son, made of us and raised by me.
How do you purge the past from your present? Or do you?
My son is as central to my existence as breath and sun and God - He stays.
And the pictures are frozen tableaus never to be recovered - I cannot forget.
But the rings, and dresses and check stubs - they stay only by reprieve;
their day is coming, their days are ending.
But my hands shake at the thought of truly losing any of it,
of letting go of all of it,
of parting with the life that has already been lost.
It is my pride, perhaps, that whispers to me of repurposing.
Is there a lesson here? A moral dancing out of the mouth of lions or crows?
What is to be learned here in the middle of this pile of life that I must sort?
What is to be gleaned from this harvest of loss?
What do I pull from the kiln of this suffering?
Maybe it will come to me while I categorize the fragments of this life,
For him, For Gareth and I, For the trash.
For him, For Gareth and I, For the dump.
For him, For Gareth and I, For the curb.
Remnants. All of life, creating still more remnants to sort, to purge, to keep.
Rings, and checks and dresses and pictures.
Children and pets and frozen memories.
Pain and Joy and the Nameless Million emotions that make a life.
I am not the only one busy at this work, I think.
Happy sorting my friends.