Estate Sale
by Richard Schnap

After our parents were sealed in the ground
My sister and I held a public auction

To liquidate a lifetime of antiques and art
That each had a story we both knew by heart

The colonial bed where we’d both been conceived
With a canopy woven of anger and tears

The paintings of landscapes that lined the walls
Without any trace of a human form

The vase I had given my father for Christmas
Hoping for a Thank You I never received

The print of Manet’s “The Dead Toreador”
That spoke to our mother in a private way

And as I watched it all disappear
To the houses of strangers to begin new lives

I felt they were dying a second time
Buried even deeper in a cold, dark past

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