Down From The Shelves
A self criticism
My friend Andrew Ettinger can’t remodel his house with all the books in the way so they have to moved out by the box load to a neighbors garage temporarily. The impression created by viewing the piles reminded me of my own unsorted collection which prompted me to consider just when I might get around to tidying it if ever.
The books, jammed and squeezed
Seem to have tumbled from the shelves
Into waiting piles,
Ready for the packing boxes.
Pictures and statuettes
Hover with clocks and cannon.
Binoculars and speakers,
Not a nook left, a complete wall
Cluttered behind the settee.
Endless broken intentions
Wait to be reposited in a neighbors garage;
Time waited not.
A cascade of unmanaged treasures,
Each with a mortgage,
An unredeemable debt of time,
Life’s lease is too short.
So to the boxes of consignment they go.
This year, next year, sometime,
Never to be opened again
Until one day, inherited or sold,
Each one’s brilliance will shine again
When fingered by curious grandchildren
Or a shop customer
Who will thrill as you once did
When first you deemed the text
Worthy of a place on your shelves.