by Melania Daniel
Stretching on a tottering stool
Of trepidation, you peer inside your memory,
In this attic of the brain moth-eaten dreams
May still be found. From the dank of cramped recesses
Mildewed hopes leap out like spooks
And disturb you for a burst of spring cleaning.
The days that all turn yellow in the evenings
Are falling off the calendar like autumn leaves.
In your yard, chocking with too many seasons shed,
You rake a pile of years scrawled over with your schemes
Of youth and burn all obsolete thoughts. Despair reinvents
In smoke to the escalator of your longings.
Frazzled as the time that’s growing senile
You slouch next to a window to mend some threadbare drapes
And find that you are staring at the journal of your life.
Glancing through the chapters of your face, now creased
And fading pages, you read some dreary lines
Of stalled beginnings; maybe a little dye
Of rouge and blush will make this tale more colorful.
Is there any joy in reading a familiar bedtime story
When the children have all flown?
And only the mocking laughter of echoes find humor
In this fable of fulfillment? Shuffle back into the attic,
Perhaps the other version can still be found. More fanciful,
That one lies buried in the clutter of homemaking.
Where all along discontent laid grubs to furrow
In the contours of your face, and nurture
In the cracks of your skin. While carving grooves inside your teeth
You hear their jeering chatter; it’s fall, they’re saying
Fall, you’re affirming, it’s never too late for spring cleaning.