Epitaph


I keep my childhood
in a shoe box
on a shelf
beside a pile of books
This cardboard box contains
several grade-school
report cards and
many old photographs
People in these photos are
strangers from another era
stiffly posed
in turn of the century clothes
When I become a faint
image on a dusty
photograph
will I cease to exist?
A chemical reaction
slowly fading to oblivion
with a stranger saying
"I wonder who that was?"

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