What a pleasantly morose feeling
To paw through the belongings
Of a recently deceased fellow, soaking up his personality
And secretly relieved it isn't me whose items are for sale.
His name was Joseph and he came from Italy;
A driver's license told me this and more.
He was a builder and a veteran of World War II.
He lived here quite a while, judging from his pliers and hammers
Stockpiled in the basement, among the drawers marked
"Ammunition" and "do not open without permission."
I bought a hand drill for old time's sake.
A pocket chess set spoke to me, along with a recording of Dvorák.
Bibles of all sizes were scattered through the house;
Fishing guides and local building codes were not as tempting.
I paused in my perusal of the goods,
Reminded of my wife's Norwegian father.
Entrepreneur and educated in the practical, he knew how
To put things together, and what the weather was going to be.
©2016 Michael Fraley
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