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:
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.