You have ancient artifacts: the toy box shaped like a giant strawberry, porcelain dolls never played with, a not-faux toddler’s fur coat, every grade school notebook, exam, award received. You have inheritance: three cribs from three generations, old pennies found while working at the store, a silk shirt worn once by Grandmother, the roll-top desk that doesn’t fit anywhere downstairs. You have Christmas ornaments and tree angels, silver spoons from the thrift store, the afghan your favorite aunt crocheted, a thousand or so pens never returned to friends—treasures.
You do not have heaven. You do not have firmament. No zephyr, no sky. You have an attic, filled. The chimney releases smoke signals every night.
Paula Persoleo is a 2002 graduate of Washington College and a 2011 graduate of Stony Brook’s MFA program in Southampton, NY. Some of the poets she worked with include Julie Sheehan, Thomas Lux, and Michelle Whittaker. She currently is an adjunct professor at the University of Delaware and lives in Delaware with her husband.