The bistro table and the matching chairs?
We bought them that one winter in Chicago:
I asked for fifty dollars, which seemed low,
But I took forty for them in the end.
The custom shelves?
A birthday gift when I turned thirty-three,
To hold my books beneath the sloping attic roof
on Holston Ave:
Twenty five apiece.
It was from an old antiques store in Varnell,
We put it by the door of our first house:
Eighty to the man from down the road
who’s sure he can resell when I’m gone.
And on it goes.
They each went, one by one,
at prices too symbolic to recount.
No one would buy the couch or comfy chair;
I had to rent a truck to take them to Goodwill.
And then there’s all the little things
I set out at the curb
and marked as “Free” for all the world to take.
But even then, there were a few things left.
It was destined for the dump.
Piece by piece I sold, or gave away, or just threw out
some twenty years of memories
bound up in all this stuff of daily life.
It took a month, and, in the end,
I walked away $800 richer for my work.
The expression goes that “Life is cheap.”
I never thought my life was quite that cheap.