The movers will be here by eight
All the boxes are packed and piled
The furniture marked and labeled
Some go along, some into storage.
Now we walk through once more
Bedrooms, living room, and study
As if we might miss something
As if we had more to add to all this.
We have become these checklists
Inventories we can easily check off
This measure and weight of years
All that is left, worth bringing along.
There are times when things we have
Become more than possessions or symbols
They can speak to us, make claims on us
Become family pets, become our children.
We can call this, label it what we want
An end to one chapter and then the next
A door closing and a new one opening
A stage, a phase, just another passage.
We’ll leave behind the sounds we made
Our voices, the things we once said
The stories we told and lived through
Our familiar legends, our mythology.
And, we’ll leave behind all our ghosts
The ones that shadowed us, follow us
Even now through these empty rooms
Begging to go along or for us to stay.
The movers, we know, will be here soon
A truck on the lawn, a ramp up to the door
Emptying our house, rescuing what they can
As we look on and begin to understand.
J. K. Durick is a writing teacher at the Community College of Vermont and an online writing tutor. His recent poems have appeared in Northern New England Review, Napalm and Novocaine, Third Wednesday, and Common Ground Review.