Lost two friends this year

Not off my Facebook list

(Lost a lot more of them

Is it my poetry? Socialism? Autism?)

No, my two friends are lost from this world

Can’t help thinking about them

And my fate, too

Now that the year is new


When cleaning out Mama’s stuff after her death

Saw that she hoarded brand new, never-worn clothes

Underpants, too

Maybe because her panties once

Dropped off in school

During the Great Depression

Because the rubber disintegrated

From her second-hand clothes

And she was embarrassed


Mama also had a surprising amount of

Spiral-bound school notebooks

Each one with a picture of

Michael Jackson

(She adored his music)

Filled with notes taken while studying

For her GED since

She didn’t graduate from high school

In the 1940s

There were also diaries from

A crazed woman

Fighting a terminal illness

Such anger, hatred, lies


Note to my sons:

Burn my notebooks

If I lose my humanity




Dad had the usual possessions

For a man accepting of

A disappointing life

Masonic books, pins, rings

And pens

Old crossword puzzles

Not much for seventy-seven years

I let the brother and cousin

Take it all

But I liked the king-sized quilts

And took two


I feel a bit sorry for my kids

When mining my possessions

Although I’m down to ten crates of crap

Because I still may

Ruby-Tuesday it

From Florida to Arizona

If I get angry enough


But I’m a hoarder of words

And music

And wampum

Nature trinkets like feathers,

Crystals, sea shells and rocks

Like my mama, I have notebooks

Some spiral (with no celebrity on the cover)

And some faux leather looking like

Medieval grimoires


My possessions are mostly on the Cloud now

Will my sons keep them

Or close the accounts?

Or—what a concept—

Will I live long and prosper?

(Prosper in health, that is

Money is not part of my karmic cycle)



I’ll learn from my dogs

Who possess a favorite

Blanket, bone and

Hidey hole

When wanting to be alone

But although it could be

Misconstrued as a possession

It would help to have

Someone who loved me



© 2016 Clarissa Simmens (ViataMaja)





  1. Is that what it boils down to in the end? Me, I had 2 cedar chests of dead people’s things. my mothers looks at me as though I am being sacreligious ( that must be spelled wrong. there is a red squiggly line under it) by being so callous. The chests get passed down to my daughter who can figure out what to do with it then. But my mother has SO MANY boxes of stuff! She tries and tries to get rid of it but says we’ll have to figure out what to do with it when she dies. She is 83. Oh dear. My family is on threat of death if they send me ANYTHING I have to figure out what to do with. Food. Send me food. At least I can eat that!


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