The only truly dead are those who have been forgotten. Talmud

Rounding the octogenarian bend the hands of the clock
are on fire, but I’m in no hurry to finish this race.
There will always be photo-finish pictures of me,
but no chance of finding a daguerreotype of my soul.

In an attic where the air is still, smelling of mothballs,
moldy books and tarnished silver plate, someone,
someday, might find in a rusted file cabinet under
a soiled sofa, a stash of my forgotten poems.

Some would be in published journals, others in a batch
of rejects with a cryptic message of how my poems didn’t
suit their needs, but wouldn’t I please subscribe.

Will this archival collection ever be read?
When my handyman neighbor offered me a boombox
left on in an attic to scare away squirrels, I found a cassette
of poems read in a familiar booming voice, a deceased
workshop member, fortuitously remembered.

If only one of my descendents with a literary bent would stumble
upon my pile of poems, I would be gone, but not forgotten.
But if some great grandchild, clutching a Wharton MBA, chucks
them in a dumpster, no ear will ever hear my earnest scribbles.
I wrote and re-wrote poems ever since I learned there’s no such thing
as writing, only re-writing. Many of my poems may now lie useless
as a candle in a skull. Only the beady eyes of hungry pigeons circling
overhead will get to see what my poems revealed about me.

Milton P. Ehrlich