I Save All Old Wallets

My apartment looks like a vintage toy shop.
My three friends love looking at my stuff.
I recently tossed 20 pairs of reading glasses.
I tossed all the mislabeled VHS tapes,
I tossed many empty boxes,
& I’ve made major progress.
Now I notice it, but does anyone else?
I really don't care, I suppose.
I collect Nancy Drew books and stuff,
Girls series books, Barbie dolls
Golden books, anything Beatles
Lunch boxes, books of every genre,
Every card or letter I received as an adult,
(I tossed the envelopes),
Disney pins, vintage board games,
Art supplies, teaching stuff,
(Great profession for pack rats),
Vintage cartoon coloring books,
Boxes everything came in, cool paper,
Tapes from my Spanish classes
(My wonderful professor died young),
Vintage magazines, craft magazines,
Mom's stuff, cassette tapes,
Old prescription bottles.
Outdated software will never be useful.
The computer industry keeps changing.
I used to collect pig salt and pepper shakers.
I don't know why, so I sold them.
I collect nature things, leaves, pods and such.
I guess, like many others, books are my biggest issue,
Now I only keep ones that I read over and over again,
The Bible and Dianetics and The Descent of Man.

I'll be totally honest with you.
The collection causes me no distress.
Some of it though really has to go!
People are open and friendly.
I used to be significantly worse.
I watch "Hoarders" on A&E,
& I get up in the middle of the show
& start tossing!
It is the supreme motivator for me.
For a few years I lived with next to nothing,
& I was not happy.
Minimalism is great for some people
But it's not for me.
Being a collector may imply
I have it more under control
& I am getting there.

I collect all sorts of Mickey Mouse stuff.
A friend of mine and I used to one-up each other
"Oh, where did you get that? I want one, too!"
Two grown adults! Overgrown kids!
The Disney parks are full of us!
Kids can be easily trained to put their toys away.
They are good at it. I have seen them.
I try to give them stickers.
I have a small coin collection.
There are fewer than ten coins,
But they are all special five and ten centime pieces,
Counter-stamped with the Pears soap logo.
I don't need any more of them
& I don’t need them anymore.

I talked to Tom Clancy one day in an AOL chatroom.
It was neat. I asked him for Harrison Ford's phone number.
Small things are meaningless to others but precious to me.
I still have the positive pregnancy tests & hospital bracelets
Of kids who are now in elementary school.
I don't collect them, though.  
I have no intent of adding to those I already have.
Like my hand-blown glass octopus from Laguna Beach.
I have to confess it now.
Something happened,
& it has become a collection.
I attended a job fair in high school
& walked away with promotional stress-relief toys;
One was shaped like a human heart.
Then for 50 cents I bought a yellow smiley face stress ball.
Then I came into possession of a cow,
A bunch of grapes, and a slot machine
(That is, stress balls shaped like these things),
& the other day I went to a donut shop
That didn’t accept credit cards for purchases under $5,
So impulsively I bought a donut stress-relief toy.
I keep them in my home office desk drawer.
They don't cause much clutter,
& I think they are hilarious,
But it's starting to weird-out my girlfriend.
I can't think of anything else I actively collect,
But there are things I save that I won't get rid of.
As a kid I collected a lot of random things,
Decorative pencil sharpeners, etc.
My collection is now a collection of collections.
Patches from the national parks and museums
Are all sewn onto the lab coat that I always
Intend to wear on the first day of school.
But it’s always too hot on the first day of school.
I made the mistake of telling people that I liked unicorns
When I was 18, which was a mistake.
I have three left. Two could be sold online,
One is blown glass, but it's so tiny that it's pointless.
I love rocks too. I have a farmer I get mine from.
I don't consider it weird or unusual though.
I save all old wallets.
I have a wallet from 5th grade with Beatles cards in it.
I have collected shells for years
& have made a shell frame mirror.
I delude myself that someday
I will make a large mirror with my collection
& maybe I will, who knows,
but I certainly don't have time now.
So the shells are in a set of plastic drawers
In the room I use for crafts and meditation.

I was quite talented with pen and ink.
I have a lot of my step-mother's paintings.
It's understandably hard to get rid of them.
I am neither a professional artist nor a true collector.
I am a musician who is, among other things,
working on the revision of a book,
which has just been accepted for publication.
I used to collect orchids for years
Until I stopped being in denial:
I don't have enough light or humidity for them,
Which is why they refused to flower again
& died long, lingering deaths.
A collection of computer viruses,
On 5 1/2 inch floppy disks,
All collected in the wild.
A collection of bowling teams shirts,
But only ones from funeral homes.
I'm afraid to get rid of any sort of cable.
I have one large blue bin overfilled with cables.

The hard-to-find-back-then shadow of sentience
Decorates a small tree every year at the holidays.
My son's teeth were so much bigger than his sister's.
I still have them tucked away in my jewelry case.