Estate Sale, Dallas, Oregon
The floorboards creaked.
“Hello my name is” Steves and Toms
Ushered us from the farmhouse to the barn
That hadn’t strained to hold such weight
Since it was young
And the fields turned over.
Each footstep sounded like it didn’t belong.
Brooms and shovels leaned cracked handles
Strung with price tags…
Like a garage sale pretending to be more.
They should have brought lamps
And aired it out.
Small spaces keep their air for ages.
Heavy tables held up iron tools
And odd kitchen items
Deck of cards, a holster, an apron,
Spent fishing lure, rusted tongs, an anvil
And on the same table
A faded but real shock of red hair.
A string bound one folded end.
The length was matted,
ends clung together
Like a forgotten family
who had starved through a storm.
Tangles and dust could not deny it
It laid there
Faintly breathing, afraid to stir.
I was ashamed for its naked display.
I could pay the nine dollars,
Take it home,
Bathe it, nourish it, comb and caress
Each strand and hold it to a mirror in the light,
But it wouldn’t understand.
The hair was a ghost waiting
Certain that its head and body would return
And it would be whole once more,
Moving forward with all the
Stories and words and moments
That it held safe in its follicles.