The Replacement
Moving Out of My Parents’ House
by Kristina England

Twenty-nine was the new nineteen.

Nineteen. The age my mother was when she married, started trimestering into her first child.

At twenty-nine, I had a band-free finger. I treated my childhood room like the Salvation Army, or salvation itself, pointing to furniture I’d take, damning the ones I wouldn’t to a lonely existence in my parents’ new guest room.

Friends and family loaded up my belongings into cars. My parents’ neighbor took the bigger pieces in his pickup truck. My friend, Pete, argued with him about how to tie down the bureau, lost, hopped in the passenger seat anyway.

When I arrived at my new townhouse, Pete was standing there. He told me the wind caught the bureau just right, split it in half, sent the top shattering along the highway like slivered dreams. I shrugged, told him it was going in my spare bedroom. Belly flat, men rejecting my dating offers, I chocked it up to the bureau’s decision not to stand empty for an amount of years unknown.

Almost half a decade later, I get a replacement, a donation, money best spent elsewhere. I open the drawers, close them, leave the extra room to my cat. She sleeps on the twin bed alone, content, able to shed her fur with no discretion, no fear of someone calling her oasis home.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: The replacement bureau, which still remains empty today.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Five years later and I’m still not phased by losing that bureau. Losing is a word that can take on a wide array of meanings for people. For an interesting poem on losing, check out Elizabeth Bishop’s “One Art,” a poem I often pull out for perspective, especially when I lose my keys.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Kristina England lives, bikes, and sails in Worcester, Massachusetts. Her poetry, fiction, and nonfiction has been published in several magazines, including Gargoyle, Muddy River Poetry Review, and Story Shack. She can be followed on facebook or twitter.