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Abbie Doll

boxing it all up: a recap from when my father died

Junk Shop in Rome by Hans Peter Feddersen

I stumbled and tumbled in
at how his absence
Every. Single. Thing.

no more smoky marlboro haze
(not that I needed a reminder)
I knew production had stopped
the workers all quit
abandoned their post
left his lungs, the assembly line
where breath was
once manufactured.

the lack of normalcy shook me
of course nothing greeted my arrival
none of the usual sounds
no abrupt fridge slam
no metallic cluck as the next bud light pops open
no televised cacophony…
nothing to drown out the silence
like we used to
trying to hide the gaps
in our awkward talks

somehow, in spite of the surrounding clutter,
the place felt empty
his absence created another [one]
how is death so ironic?
antiques hoarding dust
in all their crevices
you name it he collected it
everything sat buried
harboring his dead skin
savoring it like munching on dry frosted flakes
to save the sugary coating from milk’s assault

perhaps they were the ones
who owned him
all along

when I first walked in
I noticed his eerie impression
staring at me
smushed into the aged cushions
but of course, of course
his la-z-boy
sat empty and erect.

when I entered,
when I crossed that threshold
for the last time
I felt the pressure of this dense room
a sea of harsh eyes glaring
as if all these possessions, his personal museum
curated over a lifetime
watched him die
and now, sat there
watching me
to know
their fate—

(as if I knew)


About the writer:
Abbie Doll is a current student in Lindenwood University’s MFA in Writing program. She lives with her husband and two canine companions in Columbus, Ohio. Traveling the globe and exploring the beautiful intricacies of language are Abbie Doll‘s greatest joys in life.

Image: Junk Shop in Rome by Hans Peter Feddersen (1848-1941). No medium specified. No size specified. 1877. Public domain.

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