I took them all: the twelve foot Hamadan,
the rolling pin and sifter, the china cream
and sugar set from Grandmaís parentís home
in Woodstock, the five Fiddlestick soupspoons
of worn silver I used for eating oatmeal.
I took them all, even though you said
to wait until my aunts had passed on too.
Iím the family thief they say, your sisters,
living there together now, Aunt Lisa
filling your closet, sleeping in your bed,
both angry over empty circles where
the audubon bird plates hung, twelve in a row.
How you loved the roseate spoonbills, Mother,
arriving in the afterglow at Corkscrew Swamp.

© 1995, Ruth Flanders

Ruth Flanders is a Seattle writer with a MFA from Columbia University. Her work has appeared in Peacework Magazine, Puget Soundings, and The Seattle Post Intelligence(/I>r. She has completed a novel, a segment of which appeared in River City Review.