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  • Gary Hunter

Tidying Up the Past - Aug. 6, 2022

it was a very hot

the day he decided to stay

in the air-conditioning clean house

do something with those memories

the faces of old letters neatly creased

like favorite shirts all keepers

despite the stains of pain still there

under the dust of tenderness

that old clock to catch planes together

two dog toys lacking ears or tails

a four-legged child both adored

that couldn’t be split in two

and pictures tongues and ugly faces

smiles with arms high and wide

fingers curled around shoulders

lips touching suddenly too warm

like bare feet on a molten sidewalk

or the raven’s black tongue

panting through a black beak

no relief from the shade of trees

not that he noticed that outside

while on this inside trip into the past

this first box enough for one day

though he suspected

he’d be on the road again

when he closed his eyes


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