House fire

in memory of my sister, Ann Unemori

Next door lived an artist
Her house filled with madly fantastic images
You thought there was a lifetime
To visit and curate

One night you’re called to the scene
The house is burning down
You run to the fire
But the structure is too consumed by flame

Moments enough to grab a few fragments
One last dash for an armload more
You pull her phrases from the inferno
“Delightful chaos” and “psychic vampire”

Like the Great Library of Alexandria
The rest is lost
Without anyone ever to know
Her treasures still inside.

John Kropf

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