Each time you move, do you ship the same
brown carton – photos, birth certificates,
term papers that got A+, news clips and letters,
yearbooks and programs?
The newsprint crumbles, the photos curl,
the names are forgotten.
Year after year it waits under dust in the attic
for a grandchild or biographer or a rainy afternoon
when all the items of the past can be studied, sorted,
and properly arranged.
(Maybe I dug this up—a yellowing clip from publication in a newspaper, kept in a carton—because I’m about to take a de-cluttering course. I begin with this admission: I am powerless in my cluttering and accumulating. Martha Stewart is my higher power.)