The Things

We walk among her things, my mother pointing
to That?  How about this? And frankly I nod
at everything; I’ll take even the gesture
she makes, straight index finger, the middle, ring,
the little fingers curled under.  If I could.
Failing that, there’s any of these?  Yes, her figurine
toads, pelicans, a snail, a pair of blue parakeets,
even the slim cabinet.  Bought over the years.
Even though I hate to dust.  Yes to her books
unless my brother wants to keep them.  Yes
to the bed she can’t sleep in anymore, the pots
and pans she can’t lift, the sheets, the chairs.
She keeps pointing at her estate without
any signs of remorse or regret.  I won’t mind not
vacuuming when I’m gone.  Remember that.


“The Things” by Jeff Oaks.  Used by permission of the poet.  Copyright ©2013 by Jeff Oaks.