When you’d died

Clutter - Jonas Ahrentorp - 753826914_9fa84941c4_z

When you’d died
and they’d taken you away
and burnt you next day
all we were left with
was your whole life

packed in between the walls
nothing thrown away
nothing recycled
everything jumbled

a path through it
doors that opened or shut
boxes drawers cupboards
dressers trunks folders
presses shelves
garages attics

I’d think I knew you

cast-iron pans
bank statements
photos in cigar boxes
notebook lists of anecdotes
from the presidents’ lives

then find another thing

jar full of beard trimmings
secret mailorder magazines
bag of your own teeth

ticked list with the dates
of every half- or quarter-cigarette
you’d smoked recently
which were smoked with Larry

boxes of paperbags
medals bills
draft wills

that letter that ashtray
that hint of a romance
or was it nothing at all

in the end
all that was possible
was to just invent you
and say I’d known
that man



Image: Clutter by Jonas Ahrentorp, published under a Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike 2.0 Generic (CC BY-SA 2.0) license.

Be a peaceful ghost, John.

6 thoughts on “When you’d died

  1. Wow. An interesting take on a hoarder’s afterlife. I feel the same way every time I am looking for something in my mom’s craft room – she was an organized hoarder, but still a hoarder. 😉


  2. You don’t have to have been a hoarder. My mother’s home was always meticulously neat and ready for company, but in her attic, her barn, her garage, her back bedroom closets, we found thousands of vestiges of a life we had only guess at. Each human being is a mysterious unexplored universe of which we can know only a tiny part.

    Liked by 1 person

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