Cleaning house today
Of old boxes full of dust and memories
Two stood there as they had
Since the summer months
My father’s “things”
It is time with the spring cleaning
To clear and take the final step
The final clearing and maybe understanding
And accepting

Old clothes
None without a cigarette burn
Few without a stain
Old shoes, old ties
A suit for being Santa Claus
An old picture of three boys
His father, perhaps?
Nothing of real value
For that was not his way

Most things found their way to the trash
A few held pieces of him that could not
Be released

The final possession was his billfold
Hidden inside were two $2.00 bills
Gambler’s luck
A lifetime membership card at the VFW
Picture after picture of my daughter
Bits of paper with phone numbers
Including mine
An appointment card with his cardiologist
That he would have kept in a few days

In the fall
His brother and I took his ashes
To sea
On the party boat he loved
Keeping his wish and our promise
To a place where the fish were biting
Where seabirds were calling
A lonely spot near an oil platform
With a fog horn that cried every 30 seconds
We left him
We left him and we fished back to shore
Leaving the memories for spring
And spring cleaning