Cleaning an Attic

The day had finally come
when everything there

seemed misplaced or out of place
as an ex's box of things. The unused

beside the irreplaceable, the easy-
to-assemble uncomplicated now

by disuse. Some hand
of randomness leaving behind

its lampshades stained
like ancient maps, its ladders

still climbing upward, and enough
old tools to restart a world.

Every drawer filled
with the other half of things.

Everything care embraced,
and held once as new,

left too ragged for another winter
to wear. Its ring of keys

dangling by a nail
for rooms left long ago. And whatever

I said I'd never forget
found, just as it seemed

completely forgot—all its letters
beginning with Dear....

More Poems by Brent Pallas