by Marcia Breckenridge

A day of celebration.
I’m minimized and mature—
tossed muddied garden sneakers,
trashed a bent single earring,
vanquished too cute kitty pictures.

But part of me hates good-byes.

Laceless, tattered shoes in the closet’s dark
remind me He once shared this room,
awaken memories of dinners for two.
Barkless calendar labs chasing frisbees,
toddler sons licking birthday cakes,
Christmas notes from long gone friends—
These are treasures, NOT STUFF!

You advise, “Move forward! Be clutter free!
Stow memories in a mental file!
Cull cluttered junk of life!”
Desiccated can of paint—gone!
chipped favorite cup—tossed!
half roll Scotch tape—trashed!
red Rufus dog tag reclaimed
hand knit baby booties salvaged
first grade picture rescued!

You argue from logic.
I live from feeling.
You see junk. I feel memories.
No doubt balance is best.
So, if you learn to treasure one “junk” drawer or two,
I’ll help clean your garage.


“Downsizing” is from Wisdom of the Ages: What Age Has Taught Me.