What You Save

My dad kept notes. Inspirations
scrawled on restaurant napkins. Light bulb ideas
in the middle of the night
scribbled in messy handwriting on the back of
a receipt pulled from his pocket and tossed
onto the bedside table. Sometimes
they were memories, caught behind his browline,
pulsing and pushing. He would take off his
glasses, pinch the bridge of his nose, as if
to bring the memory together, pull it forward
onto paper. He kept them all
piled high in a brown cardboard box in the corner of the living room
bursting at the seams from
years of thought.

One May it rained for a week straight.
The river raging over the dock and
past the retaining wall. The ground
soggy and sodden. Mold crept
around the corners of the house.
On a Thursday water seeped
through the foundation, pushed between cracks
eased under doorways. It flowed
from the kitchen toward the living room. Mom yelled,
Quick, hurry! Grab the rugs!
No, no! Dad said. Grab my thoughts