Light Housekeeping

This morning: brave a half century’s heaping,

appraise practicalities, fret over each piece
that no longer fits. A black feather boa
shushes the sequined vest. The top hat
and cane lean into the back corner
like the figure of a lonesome cowboy
napping upright against a post. Tux tails

mete a Broadway requiem–tap shoes
muzzled when the children were born.

Moral blouses wag indignation
at skirts and jackets

for canasta tournaments, travel,
antiquing. A fine, white-flake layer
ghosts all their shoulders–chalk outlines,
unfinished. Only the lace overlaid recital frock

shrouded in dry cleaner’s plastic

resists. Appointing the mound for Goodwill,

I forfeit my cabaret life.
What I decide to keep:
bells, telling
the smell of the ocean–

today, I return to dust.

Anne Yale’s work has previously appeared in publications such as Chaparral and Blue Print Review. She has an M.A. in Creative Writing from California State University-Northridge, and is a founding member of Southland Poets and Writers, a Southern California based writer’s consortium.

*Photo courtesy of indiewench.