Cleaning the House After Mom Died

No longer home
just a house
empty
waiting
sold to the highest bidder
ready for new spirits
to chase away the old

An old hat on a closet shelf
mysterious letters in a shoe box
jewelry
scout badges
broken watches
collections of a long life
mostly junk to us
memories to her

Like the last scene
of the last act
of a long run play
I sweep the floor
rinse the rags
watch the water
spool the collected dust of years
down the drain
leaving nothing but memories
and a clean white basin

I am struck by how little I knew her
letters from unknown people
photos of childhood friends
places I don’t recognize
She was Mom to me
constant, solid, stable,
I never recognized her
for the full person she must have been
She was just Mom

And I wonder now
will it be that way for me
will one day my children
or grandchildren
come across pieces of my life
and wonder?

And does it really matter?
Isn’t that the way it should be?

It is unlikely that I will come this way again
for a long, long time

Marv Himmel                                                                                                                         April 10, 2014