The Lost Art of Keeping by Taylor Graham
At first we could blame the move.
That box of old National Geographics
got lost, book rate, in the mail,
along with so many foreign places
we’ll never go. Your aunt’s wind-up
Victrola lost its splintered leg,
the few remaining 78s all scratched
and skipping. My mother’s Federal
mirror shattered, bad luck
After that, we blamed the storm
that seeped and guttered into storage
and made water-color abstracts
of every photo in the family album.
At last, we blamed the fire that swirled
our house into flaming confetti,
a neighborhood extravaganza
that left us nothing in the morning.
Since then, we’ve replaced what
we could. We possess more than before.
We hoard, and can’t find anything
we’ve stored. Don’t ask me
what’s to blame. One gets so used
to losing things, one doesn’t know
how to keep them anymore.