The name affixed
Inside an old book’s cover: laughs
And sighs have all been nixed
Along with tears and sorrow
Because for you there will be no tomorrow.
While I take books down from the shelf
To sort and pack,
Remnants of your sartorial self
Taken from off the rack—
How this or that might flatter—
Receive the scrutiny of women’s natter.
We divvy up the goods, to keep
Or to donate
Diversely, some small gain to reap
In settling your estate—
We your surviving friends
Gathered to sort and settle up loose ends.
Dismantling your collection—books—
Falls to my charge,
Your library in various nooks
Grown by accretion large
Over a lifetime’s care
Devoted to the intellect housed there.
People you loved, and next to them
Ideas; now we,
Disparate friends, conjoined condemn
These parcels and effects
Of you so as the wind of chance elects.
A photograph is passed around,
Betwixt some old
Documents, sundry papers found,
Of you, your hair like gold,
Remarked by every tongue:
“She looks so beautiful, and so, so young.”