it was in the drawer next to his bed
next to this bed, the last bed.
Not the real bed, not the marriage bed.
Not even the interim bed, the one he moved into when she died, the spare bed, the spare room, when we wondered why, he said
“because, in the big bed, I am lost, floating, all at sea…………rudderless”
We marveled at the poetry, coming unexpectedly from of such a prosaic man.
We didn’t know then that language, sense, meanings were unraveling, it was not just in bed that he was lost, floating, all at sea.
The photograph creased, handled, the paper softening, edges curling, placed, neatly in a box with everything else,
reading glasses, arms snapped, not needed on this voyage
key ring to a house, long gone to pay for this last bed
a copy of the racing post
three Christmas cards
a tube of smarties
2 lighters from before, before he forgot that he smoked, forgot how to smoke, forgot.
But the photograph, the girl, pretty, posing, poised,
No-body that we know
And too late to ask, not just by days, but years and years and years as he floated, compass broken, rudder snapped, captain at the helm as the ship went down
We all fragment.
But the photograph, important enough to move from home to homes to here carries some weight, some significance, some something,
So, we take it home and unsure of what to do, place it in the drawer beside the bed and sometimes wonder who and where and mostly why,
But generally, we forget.