The Day I Pack His Things

The Day I Pack His Things

Poem by Bryan Borland
Artwork by Eleanor Leonne Bennett


I pack away the things that remain
in my parents’ house, the place they moved

when I was old enough to crave distance.
Now I want to linger, touch doorknobs,

nod appreciatively at sagging frames,
memorize the ceiling above my father’s bed.

The house is quiet. There is no chicken frying
in the kitchen, no dog barking in the yard.

There is no Arkansas football
on the downstairs television,

no last conversations, but everywhere
reminders of little, gigantic things.


-refers from the word bed in Dawn Corrigan’s essay They Have to Do What I Say

  1. Richard Allen Taylor

    Excellent poem; captures the bittersweetness and isolation of an empty house where memories occupy the walls like ghosts.

  2. Rosalyn Marhatta

    Reminds me so much of what happened after my father’s death. So poignant.

  3. “but everywhere/reminders of little, gigantic things” might just be the most gigantic little thing you’ve ever written my friend. This one makes my heart cry.

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