My sister keeps using the word forensic
while breaking up dad’s house. Breaking
down? Breaking house. Stacking empty
blue Royal Dansk tins that held cookies,
then jam tarts, year after year. Drinking
cups of coffee as we jab with boxes,
memories, facing poses in dusty frames,
any thunder long passed, but the echo of
was that when…he must have been…did she
ever…do we dare ask? I place a few photos
under my knee—my sister by a honeysuckle-
covered slash pine, the kiddie pool at our house
on Cecil Field Naval base, a slumber party
with our pink sleeping bags, our Great Dane,
Cindy as my pillow. I can’t remember where…
whose orange tree were we in…where was…?
We never ask. There is no coming back from
critical-hit throws of the die. No escaping
a once remote thought sharpened into fact. But
we dig on, silently, for material and evidence.
Michele Parker Randall is the author of Museum of Everyday Life (Kelsay Books 2015) and A Future Unmappable, chapbook (Finishing Line Press 2021). Her poetry can be found in Nimrod International Journal, Atlanta Review, Bellevue Literary Review, Tar River Poetry, and elsewhere.