Patrice shared a magical poem called “Finders Keepers.” It was a really sweet picture of her father who looked down and found value. She suggested we write a poem about something we have found or something we have lost.
She was on the phone
when the tornado came.
And still chatting, 13 years later.
She’s been chattering
at least since the 60’s–
in her high-quality plastics
“Made in Hong Kong” on her back
relaxed and leaning on the book stack,
looking sharp in her blue V-neck cardigan,
casual pose, bent left leg propped up
on her right knee, foot bobbing,
talking about dates and homework.
She was blown 200 miles an hour
into a corner of the huge hole in the ground,
formerly the basement
of a house that blew away
in Parkersburg, Iowa, in May, 2008.
After the family in bits and pieces
redeemed what they could, they moved
out of town and onto Grandpa’s farm.
She stayed back with the other debris,
ready for our shovels to pick her up
along with other tiny neglected
bits and pieces of their lives.
We filled up trash bags with rubbish,
but she, with even more to say now,
went into my pocket.