“The Attic” by Thomas F. Spencer


It seems as years add on to years

My cane is the closest friend I know

I find that I reminisce more and more

To my attic I often go.

 

It is a place that knows no day or night

The weather is stale but always fair

No windows to let the present in

Far too often now I’m there.

 

I’ve come to distinguish certain memories

Simply by their special smell

Above the moth balls beyond the dust

I recall that box of roses all too well.

 

That ancient and faded box lies smashed

With its nearly mummified remains

Yet time can never take away

The day they were exchanged.

 

I run my wrinkled fingers over tennis shoes

That “rode a twenty-inch bike all over hell”

That’s what my mother said, god if she only knew

But she is no longer here to tell.

 

A thousand rotting books from yesterday

Most every story time’s erased

Near every hour I enjoyed in them

Time has managed to deface.

 

Catcher’s mitts, bikes and fishin’ poles

Stand as trophies of things I used to do

Very few of these things get used anymore

For most are rusted or broken in two.

 

I came across some photos in an envelope

On each I’d carefully penciled in the year

But most all the faces now were lacking names

It suddenly filled me up with fear.

 

That some forgotten younger me was on some print

In someone’s unrecognizable box of junk

On a table at a garage sale

Marked “one dollar for this trunk.”

 

In one evening of rage I emptied my attic

So my past could not be sold away

I built me a fire out in the yard

To say good-bye to all my yesterdays.

 

All of my memories quickly turned into ashes

Back to the soil and up to the sky

When the fire had gone out it set me to thinking

So I went back into the house to die…