The Auction

the auction
an auction
across the street,
the contents of Ginny & Freddie’s,

the first house in the neighborhood
the house that was here before there were houses here
the house that sat
on the cornfield-lined dirt road
that led up to the quarry.

That road, barely an alley –
still visible –
no longer used.
it runs along the back border of yards
and ends about where my mailbox sits.

Ginny & Freddie must have had it pretty quiet over there when they were newlyweds, except for the truck traffic during the day, in and out of the quarry. Except for that, it must have been serene, the sound of peepers at the close of day.

The cornfields are long gone.
Hundreds of houses now.
It’s hard to find a lot to build on,
and they’re even talking about running sewer lines
because the EPA says we should,
but homeowners put up a fight.
Turns out
nobody’s eager to throw down $10-15K apiece to do it.
No, we don’t lay out 10 to fifteen thousand without raising an eyebrow.

Some put their houses up for sale
when word first came out,
but things have settled now
and the for-sale signs have come down.

and Ginny’s out at the Inn
at assisted living
because she needs assistance.
She does.

In the pouring rain
people wait to bid on items.
I hem and haw after church
whether I want to go over
and look around,
see if there’s something I’d like to have
as a momento.

I fiddle with the dishes in the sink
and move my schefflera to the porch
to catch the last of the warm rains for this year.
I put on my coat
and go across to snap a picture.

But no, I’m not going to the auction
because I’ve already come home from Ginny & Freddie’s
with what matters most,
the stories.
And the sound of their voices telling them to me
and something for me to tell you about today.

I hope they do real well over there.

About Marilyn

Reading, thinking, listening, writing and talking about faith, creativity, ESL for refugees, grief and finding the story in a story. Student of Spanish. Foe of procrastination. Cheez-it fan. People person with hermit tendencies or vice-versa. Thank you so much for reading.
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2 Responses to The Auction

  1. bethhavey says:

    This is lovely, Marilyn, and poignant. Thanks for this, Beth


  2. Belinda says:

    So lovely to read this, and sad, too; that lives come to this–a sale of belongings. It makes me think of what we invest in. I’m so glad you are the keeper of their stories.


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