I shall not pass this way again...
It hurt to see mother's mahogany furniture go
That bureau that traveled to Texas from Virginia in 1938
on its way to consignment
along with the china cabinet that I grew up with,
home to the cut glass, and crystal Viennese china
the ceremic geese crafted by my aunt,
my mother's jewelry box holding
one half of a pair of scrimshaw earrings
that I bought to celebrate the birth of my baby,
a Jembe drum that was played in the woods
at St. Anne's Chapel,
the sewing table where mother made my clothes, those
things are gone now,
along with the brocade sofa
thatwent to charity.
Good-bye to these things.
Hello to what remains.
My grandmother's Limoge pin,
the bed I was conceived in.
Photographs of my father during World War One,
and my mother in her evening dress during the Second,
modeling at the Officer's Club.
The secretary where she addressed Christmas cards
on the day Pearl Harbor was attacked.
My Russian lacquer boxes
along with engravings of New Archangel,
and the mission at Nulato.
These things all grace my new home,
a small apartment in Durham.
to comfort and inspire.