Flea Market

June 19, 2008

we always stop when we see the sign
you go one way, I another
I look at tools, books, signs
old fishing stuff pitted with rust

depression or not and kitchen gadgets draw your eye
horse collars made into a mirror
record albums
ash tray collections started and stopped
rows of salt & pepper
boxes of postcards
tin types and photographs
we sift through somebody else’s life
misplaced memories
of unnamed strangers
we are reminded
of what we threw away
or mother threw away
or lost

looking for a bargain
too good to pass up
a connection
we leave with nothing
sorting out
our own memories
putting them on shelves
in little boxes
marked firm
ready to sell
when the time comes



June 19, 2008

I remember my mother saying
we are getting together
because of grandma pearl
she was the organizer
the one who insisted we come
together thanksgiving
to draw names
Christmas to exchange
a $5 package of socks or pjays
with cowboys on them
while the uncles would
verbally jab each other
behind grandma’s back

one year I asked for
a beatles album
grandma got me
the bugs—the beatle sound
piss-poor imitation
of I wanna hold your hand
and she loves you
I ever heard
all the same to her
I acted grateful
yeah yeah yeah
was disappointed
played it once

two years ago
I saw the same album
in a flea market
it made me smile
something about the past
makes you feel good
even if it wasn’t
I almost bought it
four guys with bangs
with nevermadeit
liverpool smiles
I didn’t

got word yesterday
my brother is organizing
our first family reunion
I heard my
mother whisper
in the morning breeze
we are getting together for
grandma pearl

and that’s something
you can’t pick up
in a flea market