The orange plastic pumpkin holds
the child’s Halloween hoard.
Sticky Starbursts and unwanted lollypops.
Still. After Christmas candies have come and gone,
Candy canes and hollow Santa losing his head.
Will they still be here after chocolate bunnies and jellybeans?
History suggests the hoard will endure
even this long Lent of renunciation.
The child’s pockets turned out at washing time
reveal hoards of Legos, curls of bark, sticks, pinecones,
and rubber bands. Granola bar wrapper, a penny and a dime
and a few crumbled leaves that seemed so beautiful
just a few hours ago. A dull stone and some shell
fragments that, when they were wet, gleamed like jewels
but now are thoroughly unremarkable.
Who am I to complain with my book hoard
lining all the walls piled up double, triple
on every shelf and spilling
into heaps on the floor, Knowledge and stories stored
up against the long darkness. Gathering
dust and cobwebs. You never know
when you’ll need a good book.
Do you recall the time we were cleaning out the shed
and found in the overturned
infant seat the mouse’s nest, seed-hoard
which made me shudder and later we
found the wee beastie himself cowering
in among the wrapping paper and Christmas boxes.
He was preparing for winter, building his hoard amid
our hoarded possessions stealing from our bird feeder
trekking across the wide lawn to and fro in the dark
Why should I generously feed the titmice and chickadees
and sparrows and spare no thought or care
for the the rodents, nor give them their due share?
No but let me climb into my own word-hoard
dragonish as I run the gleaming nouns and
shining verbs between my claws, the adjectives like gems and
adverbs like jeweled daggers and all the unregarded
prepositions and articles scattering like coins around my feet.