They don't get closer to life than this.
Today's prompt: "regret." As soon as I read the word, I saw in my mind's eye cardboard boxes.
It was as if her life caught fire and she ran
to escape the flames. Left behind in cardboard rooms
are the pieces of her life, unburned. Scraps,
binders, diaries. Insurance cards. Photos of children
now turned to adults, their faces no longer known.
Sheet music for her childhood lessons, inscribed:
“Sandy--Tempo! Largo!” A card from a fan:
drowsy cat on the front, inside: “Your music
saved my life. I have quit the drugs
and gone home.”
Box upon box--but these boxes
are under another, her husband’s things. All of these
boxes, this miscellany, kindly proffered by Elizabeth,
his second wife, his widow. Just inside his single box,
more carefully prepared than the others, is a letter--
not from here in Australia, but from halfway around
the world, two miles from where I live.
From someone I know, who, like Liz, was luckier
than me, maybe luckier than them:
“Trevor, I was so sorry to hear about Sandy.
She will not be forgotten.”