Staring

I suppose I could choose
To sing right now,
Maybe even dance,
Listening to the reedy
Breaths of woodwinds,
Which have no lives
Of their own,
Packed as they are
In attic cardboard boxes
Next to my grandmother’s
Lace shawl and my brother’s
Stained love letters.

No, today I will just sit
On the couch
And stare, remembering
Eleanor Winnowicz
Who sat on her summer porch
Repeating her favorite phrase,
“Goddamned dogs
Never amounted to anything,”
Every time Bess Swarthmore
Walked by with her
Two leashed Siamese.

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