Subdivision Yard Sale

The big sellers were my husband’s items:
Electric paint roller
Gun case
A tree limb saw resembling the Grim Reaper’s scythe.
My possessions proved less marketable:
A few paperbacks
Embarrassing, deeply discounted DVDs
like the original Final Destination movie
Old literature textbooks
languishing in the “free to a good home” box
Great works dismissed with, “I don’t want no education stuff,”
deemed worthless by discerning shoppers
preferring Tupperware to Titus Andonicus.

An impulse to protect my literary heroes
from these peasants who hoard and sleep and feed
and known neither Ulysses nor me.
Wishing Hamlet could climb out of the bargain bin
to avenge the death of good taste and judgment.
But knowing full well he, too, would be seduced
by my neighbor’s designer tie-dyed t-shirts
with BeDazzler rhinestones fashioned
into Wordsworthian dancing daffodils.
“To buy or not to buy?” he’d ponder.
“Your mom and girlfriend will love them!”
I’d reply, to help my neighbor close the sale.

Better that the Prince of Denmark,
the Mayor of Casterbridge,
the Wife of Bath,
and the Jumping Frog of Calaveras County
be exiled to Goodwill
with the old waffle iron,
plastic placemats,
and other junque
we couldn’t even pay people
to take off our hands.