Dead Poet’s Legacy

“And what became of all the books
Of poetry she daily wrote,
Before our children woke for school?”
Exclaimed her husband’s smoky throat.

“They brought her medals once or twice,
And not a month’s worth rent in cash.
You know I found her book this week
In State Library’s termite trash?”

He handed me a threaded file
Of all her coverage in the news.
“No more than twenty headlines here,
No more than fifteen book reviews.”

He handed me a duffel bag
Of browning, flaking envelopes.
“She got a lot of reader mail,
Which kept on fanning all her hopes.”

He slapped atop my shaven head
A statement from the local bank.
“Beyond the three royalty checks,
Her entire passbook’s bleaching blank.”

He threw her journal on my lap.
“I don’t know why I married her.”
Her final words of deep regret:
“I should have started earlier.”

%d bloggers like this: