Claire Scott

Have you heard of Lysander he asks me
I nod sagely, not caring the slightest bit about Lysander
not wanting to know whether Lysander is a fish or chocolate
dessert or a city in Mali or a contagious disease
wondering if this is a mark of old age, this not caring,
this lack of curiosity
wondering if this should be a question on cognitive tests
for those of us who have slipped quietly past seventy
                  do you say I know all about the Violin beetle
                  when you have never heard of it                 

This slamming of windows and doors
this shutting out the unknown
as though it were a virus or a vampire or a dastardly villain
from a second rate soap opera
but my basement is bursting with highchairs, tricycles,
soccer cleats, luggage, year books and encyclopedias
time to pare down like potato skins or better yet
settle in with another bottle of brandy

When they find my body blottoed in bed
maybe starting to stink like Liederkranz cheese
they will find slews of unopened words scattered
like Lego blocks or sprinkles on a birthday cake
or birdseed for sparrows who have lost their song
Wobbegong, Tuvalu, Diplodocus, Muon, Aghori
gather them up and give them to the younger folk
whose houses still have plenty of room