Collecting Dust

Some people collect stamps –

famed portraits in miniature

or paper windows opening upon far-flung places

to which they never will carry

reports of illnesses,

miraculous recoveries,

unexpected deaths, or funerals one wished to attend,

short courtships and long engagements,

extravagant weddings,

honeymoons spent in tousled sheets,

welcomed birth pangs followed by difficult deliveries,

first words, first steps, first schools, first loves,

homecoming kings and queens,

graduation cards and money,

promotions, terminations, dreams of early retirement,

and the many, small events that,

frame by relentless frame,

form the narrative of a life.

Such fates are not to be for these paper miscarriages

of delayed communication.

No wet mouth will kiss them.

No careful thumb will press them down

to forever embrace an envelope full of promise.

And neither snow, nor rain, nor heat,

nor gloom of night…” can hope

to threaten them, unless coming

with the force of storms, or floods, or fires, or thieves in the night.

They are missed opportunities,

filed away in a book

until the magnifying glass

stretches their details under their master’s nostalgic eye.

But adoration wanes with time

and masters and paper,

becoming brittle, go to dust.

We are as akin to the stamp as the philatelist,

for what is life and memory

but collected regret?


About Buck O'Roon

Buck O'Roon [buhk oh-roon] –noun 1. a southerner of skeptical stripe, recognizable by his deeply furrowed brow and increasing lack of patience for institutionalized horse manure 2. curmudgeon-in-training
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