The Spare Leg in the Museum of Lost and Found (Musée des Objets Trouvés, Paris) Part 3 : The Lost and Found Poem

The day after losing my suitcase and thinking I might have lost my boyfriend or even myself, I was feeling a bit strange. I thought about the museum, the prosthetic leg, the urn; I thought about what it’s like to lose things, and people. So I wrote a poem. I didn’t know it was going to be as sad as it turned out to be, but I felt better after writing it :

I went to the Museum of Lost and Found
to look for you there.
I’d heard there was an urn, complete with ashes
that someone left in the Metro.
I’d heard there was a leg, prosthetic,
fished out of the Seine.
You’d think the owner would need it –
but perhaps they had one to spare.

I thought you might be there.
I thought you might be there,
curled up around
a slightly saggy, taxidermied bear.

It’s surprising, the things people lose
when they don’t take care.
I’d heard there was a yakusa sabre,
mislaid in a taxi.
I’d heard there was a human skull
crying tattooed tears.
I went to the Museum of Lost and Found
to look for you there.

I went to the Museum of Lost and Found
but they said it was locked
Deep underground ; it was just
for the police, they said.
I tried to assume
the air of a sergeant,
or a detective,
bent on finding out.
I tried imploring
the pike lady at the desk  –
I told her I’d lost you,
but thought you might be
Deep underground, alone
with the urn,
the sabre,
the leg,
the tears,
and the slightly saggy, taxidermied bear.
I thought you might be there.
I quaked before
the pike lady’s pike-lady stare.
At last, I said I feared
I’d never find you ;
I said I was lost,
until you were found .

And then, in some unheard-of gesture,
some buried instinct,
grasped from her musty past,
or dug from a childhood dream,
the pike lady fetched a key
And took me down.

You weren’t there,
I don’t know why.
But in the Museum of Lost and Found,
the urn,
the sabre,
the leg,
the tears,
the slightly saggy, taxidermied bear,
and I,
are waiting for you
to come home.

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By freakyparisandbeyond

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