Cherie Hunter Day
All that’s left are a few cardboard boxes lined up under the family room windows. The lights have already been disconnected. My sister points to one of the boxes. “Anything there you want?”
Under the jumbled string of old Christmas lights is the red and green pixy elf with a silly grin; the one mom liked to tuck up on the shelf over the fireplace. A snow globe is upside down—its iridescent snow pooling above the snowman’s head. Wrapped in tattered yellow tissue a porcelain Mary has her arms raised in a gesture of blessing but the fingers on both hands are broken off. Several candy canes I made as a child by twisting together red and white pipe clearers are mixed in with real candy canes gooey in their plastic wrappers. There are other decorations I don’t recognize—a wind up plastic Santa and sparkly snowflake ornaments.
My sister is busy rummaging around in another box filled with compact florescent bulbs. “These are expensive,” she says as she tucks several in her paper bag along with bars of half-used bathroom soap.
during his last year
he brought home keepsakes
from the shore
when he died the windowsills
were full of smooth, grey stones