1874: Composure

His composure? Rare – indeed!

Above me – a treasure in a tin
on a narrow shelf/ It was then
a cold world [nuclear war lists
or raging unions] – my father’s
fear of Commies was nurtured
by old hums of hated pacifism

Electrical wiring was pinned to
walls – our carpets were worn –
small ornaments wore less dust

[& equal rules were imposed by
my parents to avoid that trail of
mud-dipped kids indoors]/ My
tin’s lid was hinged and opened
with a squeeze and a thumbing

[once it was a mausoleum for a
butterfly – at other times a cash
reserve of found coins – coppers
retrieved from backs-of-chairs –
but always my private box of air]

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