"The Dresser"

Rich mahogany, dark and deep like Nonno's eyes,
Fine brass hardware last polished in another era...
The surfaces cloaked in that fine even layer of dust
The burial by the betrayal of owner's abandonment
Beauty of the thick-framed beveled mirror disguised
By the stubborn ghostly film dulling all reflection...

Old and stately bureau of the deceased patriarch
Beautifully unique and stately - just as he was
An eclectic assortment of such exquisite treasures,
Momentos accumulated over decades of his lifetime
Displayed atop the dresser without any reason or rhyme
Except that these were the valued souvenirs of his life

Onyx rosary beads wrapped around a cast plaster angel,
Sterling lighter, ancient witchhazel bottle, vintage tin of talc,
Caruso ticket stubs tucked into the corner of the mirror
A tattered picture of a girlish-looking, young Nonna
Mended with now-yellowed and brittle cellophane tape
The deteriorated boutonniere from my parents' wedding day

Inscribed gold pocket watch atop a lucky deck of cards
Pearl handled straight razor in a thick bone china shavemug
Amethyst ring, two Indian head pennies and a silver dollar
Randomly placed alongside a tortoise comb stashed in a brush
Initialed cufflinks and tarnished tie clip resting on a prayer card
Inscribed service plaque from the company he midnight watched for

Nonna's tears flow disassembling the shrine into a waiting box
Watching me take the felt fedora from the top corner of the mirror,
To place the hat on my head exactly as my grandfather wore it,
She tells me that I am the spit and image of him in his youth
Turning my eyes to the dresser mirror, I see his eyes staring back
His blood in my veins, his hat on my head, his cherished bureau...now mine

2000 poetheart

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