Of those quiet streets my husband and I walked before the sun
reached its height, I had already written
a backstory. Of all the layered lives I
imagined behind the cobblestone paths, wrought-iron gates,
and flower boxes, yours I could not conceive.
A white fence restrained my mental trespassing.
On the curb each Saturday morning in July, boxes.
Losses left outside the Cape Cod house,
picturesque by Marine Street beach—
Free: Forty piano compositions by Frédéric Chopin.
Compositions begin with Prelude and end in Funeral March,
interspersed with a Waltz, Fantasie-Impromptu, and even a Ballade.
Free: Two volumes of Lieder-Schatz, treasure songs
encased in ox-blood red leather.
True love penciled over 3. Treue Liebe.
Free: Leather-bound French literature
with Martha Herrick 1906 inscribed.
Though it be but little; it be fierce, penned inside.
Free: Indoor house plants in terracotta pots.
“But we do not have the right sunlight,”
my husband said, “to keep them alive.”
Transfixed by each recent curb offering,
we combed through book after book while neighbors
bellowed America, the Beautiful
and marched down the street, embellished in red, white,
and blue. A year had passed of isolating,
and perhaps I was seeking another
life story to dream as we gathered your
discarded artifacts, unaware of your story unfolding
before us, unaware of our parallels—
Free: blank baby book.
I confess, I am in the habit of naming
inanimate objects, of attributing complex inner lives
to unspeakable beings. To you, I’ll do neither.
By Megan Huwa
Megan Huwa is a freelance editor in higher education and a poet and blogger in San Diego, CA. Born the fifth generation on her family’s farm and a classically-trained pianist, she melds in her poetry aurality, rural life, and empathy through the varied voices and lives of those she observes. A rare health condition keeps her from living in Colorado, so her poetry reaches for home — both temporal and eternal.