Reaping

 

I sat in mute astonishment

And watched my stuff get packed

In wooden crates and large green bags,

To each a label tacked.

A few of them had names attached

Of those I must have known,

I thought, “I must be passing on

The things that I've outgrown”

 

I watched my books, my favourite books,

Go in a box marked ‘Junk’,

The clothing I had stitched by hand

Thrown in a musty trunk.

My years and years of journaling

That no one had yet read,

Was glanced upon by vacant eyes

And put aside to shred.

 

I felt my breath diminishing

With each item disposed,

With every armload hauled away

Another chapter closed.

I had no recollection of

The person I had been,

But vanishing while still alive

I couldn’t have foreseen.

 

I noticed then one lonesome box

Away from all the rest

A pittance of the things that I

Once so proudly possessed.

It gave me hope and I even had

A glimpse of clarity,

But when they turned the box I saw

The label, ‘Charity’.


Submitted: February 12, 2019

© Copyright 2022 Bobi Leutschaft Poitras. All rights reserved.

Add Your Comments:

Comments

AdamCarlton

As well as being beautifully constructed, this is scarily accurate.

Tue, February 12th, 2019 9:52pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Adam. Yes, I've seen it first hand... not a fun prospect...

Tue, February 12th, 2019 1:57pm

jmm424

Heartbreaking but good.

Tue, February 12th, 2019 10:12pm

Author
Reply

Thanks. Heartbreaking for sure :(

Tue, February 12th, 2019 2:14pm

Mike S.

Indeed, letting go of stuff is tough, excellent, Bobi!

Tue, February 12th, 2019 10:48pm

tom mcmullen

Very good poem Bobi, as we age our world shrinks, it's even worse with dementia, phone me if you come up with a solution!

Wed, February 13th, 2019 8:05am

Author
Reply

:) Okay!

Thu, March 7th, 2019 12:11pm

Jeff Bezaire

A frightening depiction and also sobering. It goes to show, we are not our things. However, that the ones we love have little interest in what made us us and see the task of clearing our belongings as nothing more than a chore they just want to be done with is also a bit disheartening. It's not always so, but when most people die or are moved into a home, packing up their life is a time-consuming job for the family and not an opportunity to learn and understand more about the person they've known for so many years.
This is a well-composed poem. It also has a great metaphorical element to it too - the worse dementia sets in, the more of ourself we lose, packed away and shipped out. Well done, Bobi!

Wed, February 13th, 2019 6:52pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Jeff. As usual, you seem to understand my writing very well. A lot of how the family packs things up depends on the relationship there was between them and the demented or deceased person. (in this case demented.) We're quick to judge (not meaning you) when we see someone treating an elderly person indifferently, but we have no idea what's behind it. Mean, neglectful parents get old right along with the loving, devoted ones!

Wed, February 13th, 2019 11:01am

hullabaloo22

Oh, Bobi, this is such a moving write. The rhythm and the rhyme just increase the sadness of the words of a situation too often true.

Wed, February 13th, 2019 7:58pm

Author
Reply

Thanks, Hully.

Thu, March 7th, 2019 12:12pm

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