What We Leave Behind

I’d like to propose a toast
To the thoughts we leave behind
And the objects that we don’t
Whose only value ceased with life

I don’t want many things
To commemorate my time
But if one of them’s an object,
Then I’ll make damn sure it’s wine

Notes from the interview that inspired this poem:

The previous year, one of his close colleagues had passed away just before her house flooded. Almost everything in it had been completely destroyed. In helping to clean it up, this man had come into possession of several bottles of wine she’d owned. Recently, he had been reminded of her when he grabbed a random bottle of wine to bring to a dinner party and it turned out to be one of hers. Since then he’d been thinking about how little she’d left behind physically and how much she had left behind in so many other ways. He was inspired by her strength, wisdom, and kindness. Reflecting on these things, he hoped to leave almost nothing physical behind when he died. Instead, he hoped to be remembered by his life’s work and the impact that he’d had on others.

Interviewee: Anonymous
Listener Poet: Elle Klassen

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