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Betsy Holleman Burke

Thirty-eight years, a family home, every room filled with things I love

two attics, a basement, garage, a magnificent horde of possessions.


I ride a wave, a tsunami of stuff, a big blue can packed with Hallmark love

Happy Birthday, Mommy, I adore you, Babe, the most important possessions.


Books, fat albums, a million CDs, old eight track movies we watched with love

Do they make you happy, my grandson asks, quotes the guru of possessions.


Tiny dresses with velvet bows, bought for a daughter with a heart of love

Please stop sending boxes, she begs, I have too many possessions.


My son takes everything fishing-related, surf rods return him to days beloved

with the father he lost too young, too soon, that father the king of possessions.


File cabinets explode with letters from Camp, prone rifle targets shot with love

an abandoned sport once they are home, collecting blue trolls as possessions.


Letters from friends, now missing or dead (“Dear Betsy”), a taste that silverfish love

their lacy patterns, artistic bent, a surprise in this cache of possessions.


Photo by Henry Brown

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