My Grandmother Reflects on What She Saved

by Eric Elliott


In the darkness
the other side
of the street
the earth grows
as stars burn.
Here, screened
into this life –
an old moth
caught in a
porch’s web,
no fire for
guidance –
everything dies.

Like the rust
in the sky
linking this town’s
Like my breath,
the voice
of my daughter
still caught
in the air.
Here the
planted like
gray roses
in the family
graveyard are
the only scenery.

The memory
of my husband’s
thin fingers
across my skin
like scars.
The echo of my
daughter’s door
behind him.
August’s moist breath.

I am in the shadow
of the open
basement door –
in the darkness
packed away
as objects.
I kept everything
she left,
but only
her toys –
sealed in plastic –
have survived.
Tonight I smell
the age of things saved –
the mold crawling up
the stairs on all-fours.


Next: "Doing Nothing"