I noticed right away when he took
down the inspirational eagle picture
that hung with humor on the left-hand
wall. The beginning of the end.
The mirror remained, but he bequeathed
his bamboo screen to my keeping, when the time
came, as we both knew it would.
Next, he gave away Mr. Potato Head dressed
as the Easter Bunny, to an old friend and co-
worker who had a collection. That way, Potato
could be among his people.
Next went the promise of rulers, staplers,
the good red scissors that he wrote his initials on –
JMCS – before he was blindsided by the changes.
And then followed the old university mugs,
the mannequin chests, the Pez dispensers.
The photo frames remained until the end,
as did the mirror and the lamp,
though the files made it home before even the
announcement was made. Call it a cowboy’s
intuition. And so bits and pieces remain,
scattered among us faithful followers,
who could not rise to save him in fact,
but by every Pez dispensed or Potato Head
displayed, he remains.