Poems and Poetry

Salvaging Memories | A Poem by Roy Pullam

There was no joy
Ii the dreary morning
The house quiet
Since her burial
I opened the door
The flip of the light
Revealed the infamy
Burglars had invaded
The cherish space
Mother called home
I did an inventory
Dad’s knife
The family Bible
Mother’s favorite dress
All gone
The radio
Once close
To my father’s ear
His source
Of local news
Dishes, pans and glasses
Taken from the cabinets
William’s Christmas gifts
Purchased in the Orient
Dorothy cried
The pain
Of knowing
The memories
Of a hard childhood
Things with no monetary value
Seized in the sweep
Of valuables
My heart broke
No evidence
Of my childhood
Not one picture remained
All lost
The assault
On my heart complete
We divided
The remaining things
I took a pair
Of my father’s
Bib overalls
His soiled work shirt
From the hamper
The smell
Of his after shave
Still in the fabric
I found my mother’s purse
Under her bed
$2.00 in change
A handkerchief
Smelling of the White Shoulders
Velma bought her
Four Halls cough drops
For the cold
She got each year
I sacrificed other things
Allowing my sisters
To claim
What they wanted
To keep the old
Tired leather purse
Mother wore
Over her shoulder
We took the puny tokens
Left by the felons
Closed the door
And drove away
How miscellaneous
Are the things we treasure
The artifacts
Of a long life

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