Now and Then by Deborah Guzzi

The attic wants all loved things to come to it and remain. The timber expands in the heat, clamps closed in winter’s cold. An evergreen branch, nailed into the rafters in nineteen twenty-eight, and the floor boards of King’s Pine recollect the perfume of new cedar shingles mixing with the Old Spice on Grandfather’s square Protestant chin. His old flannel shirt remains, doing worthwhile work even now, stuffed between the crumbling brick chimney, catching condensation, guarding the dust covered floor from damp.

Field mice
skitter through plaster lath:
yellowed news clippings

The attic has quite a view, of harrowed fields of rye, of the grandson’s log cabin. The small six-over-one panes, on either end, toss daylight and breeze south to north. So much laughter has risen from the south-side porch, up, up, to the Dutch colonial’s peak. In the evening, the bats fly from beneath forest-green shutters to meet the fireflies; in the wood outback, coyote’s howl.

window glass
rattles in a northeaster:
the smell of chowder

I’ve tried to be a good caretaker to cherish all, from stonewalled cellar to gabled roof, but the attic has always called me. This treasure holder now enshrines my memories with old scrapbooks, Star Wars toys, and crocheted wedding quilts. What will it hold a century from now? Only the evergreen branch will know or the eight-armed, clothes drying, wrack remaining from the past owners squirreled away between the true two-by-four stud walls.

Deborah Guzzi is a healing facilitator. Her new book The Hurricane is available now through Prolific Press. Her poetry appears in Magazines: Existere – Journal of Arts and Literature in Canada, Tincture in Australia, Cha: Asian Literary Review, Hong Kong, China, Eunoia in Singapore, Latchkey Tales in New Zealand, Vine Leaves Literary Journal in Greece, RedLeaf Poetry, India and Travel by the Book, Ribbons: Tanka Society of America Journal, Sounding Review, Kyso Flash, The Aurorean, Crack the Spine Literary Magazine, Liquid Imagination, The Tishman Review, Page & Spine and others in the USA.