Travelers Welcome

Travelers Welcome

Tuesday, September 27, 2011


by Robert E. Petras

First to go was the lawn tractor
swept away by a flatbed,
then came the strangers to the auction,
and they took things,
things like Betty Jane Demerit’swasher and dryer,
things like Betty Jane’s flat screen TV,
things like Betty’s jewelry,
her pearl necklace, her mother’s brooch,
carried them off the hill
like ants carrying crumbs
as the auctioneer warbled on and on
and they carried away more things—
just things—the grandmother’s wedding dress,
a mother’s ring,
the daily reminder blackboard
erased, the erasers, too.
Another flatbed rolled into haul away junk
as the auctioneer warbled on:
Going, going, gone forever.

1 comment:

  1. A fine poem, one that reads well now in the bad times that perhaps spawned it and a poem that will also read well when times are good again, whenever that may be.

    It is especially meaningful to this city boy who did not attend a country auction till his country wife took him to his first one when both left the city for the country. Quite an adjustment for a "smart ass" from Chicago relocating to Wentzville, MIssouri.

    I saw a lot of "ants carrying crumbs." But I never could tell who was bidding. A country auction is a wonderful ceremony, almost like a revival, only with objects and not people being "saved."