He was a collector of antiques, Various vintages and obsoletes;
Newspaper wrapped china, With hand-painted blue flowers, Edges rough with the touch of time-
Though never the floral warmth of a sweet herbal tea, An antique devoid of history.
He was a purveyor of things without stories; A record player sat in perfect condition—
Music never sat upon its cool metal lap, To swish her bouncy tulle skirts, Or ramp up a room with raucous commotion, Swirling fabrics flowing this way and that.
There were bottles of dark amber, without tinctures or salves, pewter spoons that never touched meals,
And silver dollars never jammed into tiny front pockets, To spend on a soda with friends.
And highest upon his old pallet shelf, The sole gift from a poor drunkard father, The Jonny West cowboy still sits in its box, A relic of childhood privation.
As he gazes with pride at his wall of old wares, The irony lays lost across large gleaming eyes;
It’s he who sits on that lonely old shelf, Edges rough with the tincture of time, unkind. Unopened, untouched, and from life, confined.