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I hunt through the cramped attic of a house in the South;
Uninhabited for years; the taste of dust fills my mouth.
A buttonhole carnation, kept to reminisce;
A crumpled wedding veil from their first, joyful, kiss.
A ’29 Journal says the markets have gone ill;
A worn Bible still conceals a ten-dollar-bill.
A young boy’s cap, a toy soldier, a baby-blue rattle;
A corporal’s insignia, sole survivor from some great battle.
A stethoscope, a new calling, two faded passports;
Some overseas letters, evidence of church support.
A guest book, a record player, a set of kitchen knives;
A bag of golf clubs, accustomed to master drives.
A tank of oxygen in the corner, some folded white sheets;
A few last photographs, and the doctor’s receipts.
In the garden, a joint headstone, some flowered accents;
Grateful words engraved, proof of lives well spent.
I leave the place, thoughtful, motivated, intent;
To make my life mean as much as their lives meant.