Blaine Marchand | IN KEEPING


Your stuff. Some call it junk.
The bric-a-brac of ten decades,
one hundred years of bobs and bits.
On the windowsills—the rooster,
whose changing colours foretold the weather,
long since at a standstill; the clutch
of porcelain roses in crystal vases
that never require watering.

In the glass cabinet, the prized
bone-china teacups, hand-painted,
unstained, never warmed by tea,
white as the damask tablecloths,
tucked into tissue, kept for good
in the buffet drawer. In the dressers,
boxes of broken rosaries, silver chains,
religious medals, fading photos of family
and friends, undated, unnamed; and birth
announcements, congratulatory cards,
no clues when sent, or by whom.
In your closet, dresses, blouses, skirts,
holdovers of many eras, draped on hangers
coated in foam that crumbles to the touch.

A product of your time, everything stored
stored away. Two floors of your house,
now to be sifted and sorted. By us,
the generation of downsizers who treasure
decluttering above all else, who yearn to be
unencumbered by the past or objects
that oblige hands to plunge in soapy water,
that need tender tending. Our penchant
for things easily replaced with something
new. We prefer to dispose of anything old
except ourselves. What to keep?
What not?


Author’s Bio

Blaine Marchand’s writing has appeared across Canada, the US, Pakistan, and New Zealand. This poem is from a recently completed manuscript, Becoming History. He is currently working on a series of poems about cancer, Finding My Voice, and Old Growth.