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The Collector

by Thomas D. Reynolds

Looking back at all the things I’ve accumulated
through the years that have now disappeared,
as if trucked away in the middle of the night,
suddenly I remember something I used to have
and wonder if there is my own Collector out there
who wears steel-toed boots and smokes cigars,
pirating away all my discarded or lost goods
into some abandoned house in a Kansas woods.

Perhaps mine is made of brick or quarry stone,
with a few deep-seat and walnut-framed windows,
and a century after I am gone, and none are alive
who remember my face or even my name,
two bored farm kids on the run from Sasquatch
will tumble through the rotting doorframe,
and at first more out of boredom than curiosity
begin perusing through these pathetic objects,
tearing off stamps from my love letters,
the ones where I said it all in the blank spaces,
not the words, and picking up with two fingers
the soiled wallet still shaped from my back pocket.

When the house grows dark, they will run home,
but some time later, they will return to my house,
again and again, fascinated by old things,
and will try, but fail, to reconstruct that alien life.

Eventually the house will be razed, woods cleared,
a new home built, and the brothers will grow up.
Maybe some day, perhaps searching their own house
to find a book or key that has suddenly disappeared,
they will think of that old house and all its secrets,
objects that would appear as if my osmosis,
and wonder about the mystery of one human life.

That wondering may be all that’s left of me then.

Copyright © 2005 by Thomas D. Reynolds

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