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By John Grey
The old man finally died
and now it's the time of the auctioneer,
as much life's bookend as a coffin.
In the basement of the church hall,
surrounded by everything from
fine antiques to kitsch to junk,
he waves his microphone around
like a rock star
though, when he begins to bellow into it,
he's more the preacher,
assailing the crowd with the wonders
of a local couple's splendid, decorous taste.
But the jumble reminds more of an attic than rooms.
So up the bidding goes, dollars rising like his voice.
So what if the china's chipped—it's Wedgewood.
And yes, people only think they know Hummel--
what about this cherubic little boy with a watering can?
Chairs are popular.
Whoever sat in them is forgotten.
The maker comes to the fore.
There are tintypes and postcards
for the specialized collector.
An Ivy League Football game from the 1930's
brings tears to the eyes of a middle-aged man,
but they quickly dry
when he finds there's pieces missing.
No one wants the clothes.
Those styles can only dream of coming back in fashion.
They're finally donated to a local theatre group.
But bidders get enough of what they want to be happy
and the auctioneer's fee
offsets the grinding on his throat
and distant relatives pocket an unexpected bonus.
and local charities find homes for the leftovers.
So, at the end,
a man's life is split four ways,
five if you include his burial.
#Unreal #Auction #Collection #Junk #Auctioneer #Death #SplitInFiveWays
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