Things Fell Apart

Those salt dough ornaments we made in Nashville
when I was three, somehow survived all the next moves:
Nashville to Seattle, Seattle to Thief River Falls,
Thief River Falls to Dayton (rented house),
Dayton (rented house) to Dayton (house on Elmway Drive),
Dayton (house on Elmway Drive) to Worthington Hills
(unless I should call it Columbus — it’s hard, sometimes,
to decide whether suburb or city is the identifier).
Anyway, those salt dough ornaments are up there with
the aerosol can of Amway brand air freshener, as far as
impermanent things that made it all the way to the end.
And then, inexplicably, the ornaments molded and crumbled,
and — completely explicably — I’m sure my dad threw away
the air freshener before he moved out of our last house,
not knowing I would want an ancient spray can,
with so many other things to sift through and ask about.
I still have the story of how one day in the ’90s, my mom
was getting ready for a fancy-lady event, accidentally
sprayed her hair with that ’70s Amway air freshener
that had traveled at least from Seattle, a quarter century.
Funny, how the things that stayed with us took on an air
of heroism, shared struggle. Funny, how things fell apart
or were discarded, after so many years and all those miles.


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