Last of Her Line

My mother surrounds herself
with the ghosts of her family tree:
their porcelain, glassware, tchotchkes and curios
crowd her home--
the wedding gift of this one;
a bequest from that one--
shadowy memories
locked in crumbling, dusty, decaying rooms.

She looks ever backward,
with no joy in the presence of her children
or the future of her grandchildren
but rather haunted by visions of those whose
clocks stopped generations ago,
the past like an imaginary friend,
invisible to those of us
who cannot see
the souls in her belongings.

Originally appeared in "Frightening" published by SEZ Publishing, 2016