Today, I am holding an overdue parting ceremony for the ghosts of my past,

Wondering why I put up for so long with the audacity of their shadowy substance

Set out to exert undue influence by trespassing in my current living quarters

And relentlessly squeezing my heart and mind with their tentacular gloom and doom,

Lugging around an unbecoming wardrobe composed of old grudges, griefs, and regrets.


To ward off any risks of contamination and keep at bay the dreaded curse of reincarnation,

I opt for their drastic and final demise by point-blank cremation.

Dust to dust; ashes to ashes; to nothingness, they shall return.


I fumble one last time through the packed-to-the-gills junk drawer

where I absentmindedly crammed the pell-mell of my memorabilia.

The emotional strings attached to them hopelessly tangled up

That my initial impulse is to annoyingly slam the wretched drawer shut,

Once again, turning my back to the unfinished businesses of my past.


To soothe my frazzled nerves, I drench myself with lavender and patchouli.

As well, I sage the drawer’s content before taking the dreaded plunge.

I gird myself with my dear departed grandmother’s apron,

Enlisting her moral support in this heart-wrenching clean-up operation.


After regaining a semblance of composure, I reaffirm my intent,

Deciding that the best strategy would be to proceed methodically--just as I do with my laundry.


I color-sort my memories, separating the darks from lights.

I salvage the fading ones to nurse them back to vibrancy

While tossing into a pile, those soiled with permanent black marks

That I shall personally hand-feed to the voracious mouth of the incinerator

Thus, carrying out their much-delayed death sentence.


Anyas Spencer, Medford, Oregon, February 17, 2019


Sun, 02/17/2019