Sorting My Parents’ Possessions

by Sharon Carter

Let’s be blunt. Less reminiscing, more dismembering.

Gold photo albums—

the happy pair sun-scalded in Ibiza; our history in second-hand cars.

Her scarf, three blond hairs. Table lighters, cigarette case— their faint tobacco ache. Suitcased for decades, akin

to sanctifying

a silver-encased relic.

This winnowing,

a reluctant preamble

to confronting my own gathered life,

the whole steak and kidney taste of it.

Unraveling memories— every Sunday lunch, broken bone, blind date.