Today's poem is by Travis Wayne Denton
I Trade My Family for Junk
The older I get, the more of my family
I trade for junk. This rusting lawn chair
belonged to my wife's mother
when she was a child.
We've had it ever since she sailed over the horizon.
I've spent hours in discomfort,
watching ground squirrels hiding pecans in the weeds
or listening to the neighbors party on their deck.
Crossing one leg, then the other,
leaning forward and back.
I can't bring myself to throw it away.
Like the half-sister I used to have,
strange, insane they said
perhaps involved in the occult,
but oddly a part of the family.
We didn't get anything for her.
On a hot day, March of `9S,
we traded my grandmother
for a purse full of used kleenex.
In the shed is what we got for
grandad, a hoe with a broken handle.
Before long, the house and yard
will be covered in junk.
We take what we can salvage
of their lives. The stuff of rummage sales
jars of buttons, knitting needles,
three-legged chairs, polyester pant suits.
The relics become oddly a part of the family.
Copyright © 2009 Travis Wayne Denton All rights reserved
from The Burden of Speech
Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission
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