Holding On, Or Throwing Away?
There were things of mine in the drawers that could be thrown out,
But I kept gravitating to the things that were his.
His Public School 45 autograph book. It was red, white, and blue leatherette with
Inside was his hand, writing the names of favorite teachers,
And the dreams of the future you have when you are 13.
His father, an old world German who never shared himself,
left ink blotches of emotion under his hand.
In another drawer, the fancy leather passport wallet complete with passport and
He was 16.
I don’t remember him talking about anything else with the same twinkle in his
As he did about the 6 months he spent in Germany.
Here is a poem written to him on his 40th birthday,
by his best friend in the world.
The gift made so much better because it was so unlike this IBM Executive
to write personal poetry full of memories.
There was an untouched underwear drawer.
Cards of love and joy that I had given to him over many years.
A collection of Christmas wallets.
A yo-yo. Gift from a child with nothing else to give.
Old prescription glasses. Why do we keep those? Pocket knives, hankies.
A sweater and socks I knitted for him,
Always said they were too good to wear.
I store them still.
Every drawer I opened, every cupboard, every box stored away throughout the
whole house had something of his tucked away within.
A stray bullet or black powder ball. A toothpick holder.
A cork screw. A flint, patches, pictures of his ‘49 Olds, a comb, a watch, pocket
~ Maybe if I go clean someplace safe like the fridge.
And there was the bottle of Zeller Schwartz Katz wine
bought for the coming Christmas season of entertaining.
This is foolishness, hanging on.
In spite of saving all this stuff
the hole in me is still there. ...
But I just could not throw him away.