The drum of rain pelting on my roof
rouses fitful sleep into a torrent of words,
revelers, intoxicated, unwelcome, unyielding,
heedless of my prayers for peace,
banging against my sleepy brain,
until, once again, I cannot resist
and let them in, dance with them, sing
selecting, rejecting, putting them in their place
and finally getting it right
bending them to my will
and end the poem
and earn my rest,
until the next storm comes
I'm an estate agent, she said
I sell what's in houses after they're dead
What fun that must be, I wondered aloud,
to touch the possessions that made them so proud,
pictures and furnishings and maybe their cat,
and digging through troves of treasure like that.
And what was most memorable of all that you found?
Something unique? Something profound?
The Gutenberg Bible flawlessly bound?
The agent replied, after time for reflection,
The answer to that lies in a different direction.
The ashes of someone a long time deceased
contained in a can upon a mantelpiece
with an inscription affixed in a manner quite clever
something to the effect of, I will love you forever.
Well, what did you do? I asked in dismay.
No claimant left living and no one to pray,
I took it outside and threw it away,
and the ashes all spilled but no sound came out,
not a whisper, not a sigh, not a cry, not a shout.
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