What They Couldn’t Take with Them

A century later,
a bouqet of roses
cling like lovers
in heat that’s dense.
A dance card and gloves,
the portrait of a young
woman who sits
on a Delaware fence.
A postcard written in
script upswept as
pinned up hair,
“Come home to me,
A cavalry jacket,
the wool stiffened
by time and sweat,
somewhat at ease.
Resting in paper, a
waist-long braid–
mahogany, like a
polished armoire.
A letter sent home
from the battlefront,
“No matter the day,
I love you more.”
The language of silk
spoken by stockings
opaque, no higher
than white mid-thigh.
A four-score romance
wrapped in tissue,
and little more left
in the attic
but sighs.

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