BellaOnline Literary Review
Hummingbird by Lisa Shea

Table of Contents


In Acquisition Mode

John Grey

In the attic, the cellar,
boxes of the discarded, the heirlooms,
the possibilities of being valuable someday.
huddle together, brown fly-blown dust magnets
of a family´s last hundred years.

God help the auctioneer should these generations
wither down to nothing.
Yellowing Photoplays, rusty music boxes,
a child´s chair, a fan with Buckingham lace leaf,
goblets, a chestnut bowl, a beheaded Hummel...
can one dumpster put paid to a century of gathering.

Lifetimes don´t only put flesh on bones
then shrivel it away, they acquire.
Their wedding dresses outlast marriages.
And no one´s love can hold a candle
to a wax horse with a wick for a tail.
My mother threatens to clean house
but never follows through.
Without this jumble of reminders,
we´d come from nothing.

Sometimes I look at my possessions
and wonder what will represent me
in the future´s great storage trunk:
this punk rock on vinyl?
the horror anthology with my poem
interred somewhere in the middle?
my souvenir Eiffel Tower?
that hideous painting of Freddy Mercury in oils?

The last hundred years are a painful reminder
that the next hundred years have begun.

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