Estate Sale, Dallas, Oregon


Kat Ricker


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

Its life.

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.