When I walk in my house I see pictures,
bought long ago, framed and hanging
— de Kooning, Arp, Laurencin, Henry Moore —
that I’ve cherished and stared at for years,
yet my eyes keep returning to the masters
of the trivial — a white stone perfectly round,
tiny lead models of baseball players, a cowbell,
a broken great-grandmother’s rocker,
a dead dog’s toy — valueless, unforgettable
detritus that my children will throw away
as I did my mother’s souvenirs of trips
with my dead father. Kodaks of kittens,
and bundles of cards from her mother Kate.
“The Things” by Donald Hall, from The Back Chamber. © Houghton Mifflin Harcourt, 2011.