Yard Sale

Standing with my friend in his garage,
We look at things left over:
Hose connections, extension cords,
Kitchen utensils, power tools,
Twenty years of memorabilia.

His house has sold,
Not for a high price;
He’s glad to be out from under it.
Another friend, Richard, will take his dog.
Somehow, I say, I always thought
You and the dog would go together.

It’s a bad joke and I tighten my lip.
He hands me a snow shovel
And points to the reels of garden hose.
Kay, he says, wants the leaf blower.

Dread drifts like fog around my heart.
He’s got enough now what with the house,
His father’s inheritance,
For a couple of years, maybe four.

The lids of my eyes close with his.
Guilt, I want to say, belongs to time.


Daniel Sundahl is a professor in English and American Studies at Hillsdale College where he has taught for thirty years. He’s the author of three books and, over the years, has been published in a variety of periodicals. He’s married to Ellen; they have one well-behaved German Shepherd and three less well-behaved mackerel cats. He occasionally cooks.