Copper Pots


Of all the things

that could have been

In the attic

now belonging to my mother

It was only hers now

having just buried my father

Venturing alone–

Through the trap door in the ceiling

Ascending a ladder

Into the upper world

Where dad now resided

I passed things down

to my waiting sister

An antique typewriter

carefully chosen

having it cleaned and repaired

A writer’s perfect gift

Crossing a new threshold

A wound so fresh

it had not yet found me

Standing in the accumulated past

of a family

without anchor

I am in the attic

My sister on the ladder stairs

Our mother on the sofa within earshot

My dog, new to this family

Jumping up on the bed

to meet my dying father

The white-robed black priest

who came to deliver

last rites

Wishing her panicked barks

were enough

to scare him away

That perhaps it was all a

very fortunate mistake

a premature call

We sorted,

mostly without words

unsure of this new language

that made a widow

two fatherless daughters

Unable to comfort one another

Unearthing ugly brown

Ceramic pigs

Our first piggy banks

that meant the world

to us

Sparkly doodads that illuminated

so many Christmases

If I could just uncover

the copper pots

How does a whole set

Once pirouetting

from a circular copper rack

go missing

from their high-wire act?

These would be the treasure

I would carry back

through the threshold

Gleaming talismans

Holding the secrets and stories

Of so many shared meals

In the end

we left two items

A round coffee table

missing its center glass

An antenna so vast

a great prehistoric insect

whose mere presence in that space

defied logic

too big to exist

Confounding us

just like our larger than life father

slipping the earth’s axis

                                                            -Teresa Piccari
                                                            April 2016



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