Dust on the mantelpiece; postcards and brittle letters

telling of boys in old swim-suits, picnics on hot sand,
piano-playing at dusk. Photos of aunts
and unknown friends of aunts; laughter
in gardens of houses long moved from;
baby and dog on a rug.

Merciless, I rip papers from folders,
pack books and ornaments for charity.
She will live in my heart, I say,
I don’t need her on my shelves.
But my heart is lumbered with ghosts, flickering
on the turn of a stair, in a child’s grin.

Janet Fisher
in Life and Other Terms, Shoestring Press, 2015