The Innisfree Poetry Journal

by LuAnn Keener-Mikenas


Closing the House


Up and down the ladder

from my old room to the attic, then

standing at the bottom, shower after

shower of grit in my face

as my brother and son hand down

the artifacts of our parents' lives. 

For the huge trunk we knew things

went into and never came out of

they had to cut a hole in the ceiling,

both of them red-faced, heaving

till it crashed to the bedroom floor.

When it yawned open,


Mother's dresses

rose of their own splendor:

tailored tweeds with velvet cuffs,

buttons like medallions,

tiny moth holes through which

time escaped.  What did we

say to each other, reeling

on the mouse-stained floorboards

as on the deck of a great ship,

linked by a thin cord of genes,

a blast of wonder, breaking

this tough bread together,


precious dust

in the mouth of wind.

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