After we’re gone
there will be baskets of rocks
collected from rivers and shores
across years of travels

unidentified keys
that hang in a closet under the stairs
or hide among mismatched earrings
in a wooden jewelry box,

collections of photos
with people and places
our children won’t recognize,
but they will look through some of them,
and our daughter will say,
I remember that dress!
and our son will say,
I learned how to drive a stick shift in that car,
and they will keep just a few
that mean something to them

go through our shoes and clothes,
try on several things,
put some aside for the grandchildren
who have other things to do that day
besides cleaning out the house

but there will be a moment
when they open a kitchen cupboard,
or pull out a drawer,
and some small, insignificant thing
will overwhelm with memories,

and they will laugh
before they start to cry.


A retired educator, Nancy Haskett’s work has been seen in more than 40 publications, including Homestead Review, Iodine Press, and Poeming Pigeon. A collection of her poems, Shadows & Reflections, is now available on Amazon. Nancy enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family in Modesto, CA.