Attic

up the creaky stairs
passing the bedroom floor
to the third landing 
the stairs ending
at a small dark door 
opening to the attic
long locked 
not often visited

turning the knob twisting slowly
afraid the key would break 
in the lock
tumblers line up  
door hinges screech
the smell of old dust 
fills the doorway
like Linus’ blanket
carrying around motes 
of ancient civilizations

dim light
from a streaked window
highlighted sheets covering shapes
crowding the room
walking nearly impossible
without bumping into contents
disturbing the silence
nearly falling
on a large rectangle

partially lifting the corner of the draping
immediately seeing
Wilshire park bikes on their sides
sack lunches
baseballs gloves bats
kids from three neighborhoods
playing ball all day
summer
I dropped the drape
thinking to come back here

in the middle of the room
I lifted another cover
and saw my father in his coffin
my eyes filled with tears
and chest got very tight
quickly backing away
I came again to the door
backing out re-locking the door
turning
back down the stairs
quietly
a few tears rolling out

I woke up
at the kitchen table
face down on my crossed arms 
damp face
damp sleeve
coffee gone cold 
in my cup

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