Today's poem is by Elaine Sexton


This is an elegy for the stuffed sea turtle
who swims in dust on a shelf in the basement.
This is a hymn for the cracked teacup's myrtle
vines in Rosenthal china. This is a requiem

for the scrapbooks, the dog tags,
a wedding band's run-down rosettes,
the Stars & Stripes, the folded flag;
my mother's now rests in plastic

with my father's, her Morse Code machine,
her Army uniform, moth-pocked in storage.
This is a dirge encrypted in things,
porcelain thimbles, seams sewn over

myths, facts resting with fiction,
exposed with their fine contradictions.

Copyright © 2003 Elaine Sexton All rights reserved
from Sleuth
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Reprinted by Verse Daily® with permission

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