Poetry: Richard M. Grove/Tai

I was helping to pack up my parents’ house
of thirty years. With a magic wand
shrink its contents from full house
with large workshop and two studios
to what would fit into a two bedroom,
one bath condo. Two thousand books
were not going to fit. Paintings from every wall
were not going to fit. Antiques collected
over sixty years were not going to fit.
“Father which of these almost identical lamps
would you like to take?”
“All of them. I will find a spot for them.”
“Father which of these eight pairs of shoes
in the black recesses of your closet
covered in the white dust of time
do you want to take?” “All of them.
They are all good shoes.”
Dear dear Father lost the battle
on many of our questions
that we stopped asking.
We shoehorned him and Mother
into the condo.
In the end, it killed him.

Jotted on a Page Torn from My School Binder
For my darling wife, Kim

I smiled with an, echoing-me,
seventy-year-old, friend
talking about our youth. I mentioned
that I have written my share
of fifteen-year-old, star-twinkling,
lovelorn poems, poured out
from my annexed heart,
crushed,
jotted on a page torn
from school binder, slipped
to a blond, beautifully freckled,
doe-eyed dream for whom
I cannot even remember her name –
was it Suzie or Jane or Jan? Did she
truly have any idea of just how
cool I was with my bell-bottomed
hip-hugger trousers,
hand-beaded choker
marking the territory of a proudly
exhibited love-hickey slightly covered
by my longer than shoulder-length hair?

I glide through every stage of my life
colouring the reality of now
with glimpses at the past.
I dance with my darling blue-eyed wife,
slipper sliding across dining-room floor
twirling her into our future.

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