Wednesday, March 15, 2017
Falling out of an old trunk
Stuffed with mildewed lace
And blue ribbons barely
Holding together ancient love letters
Browned with age and turning to dust
At a touch.
There, a faded photograph lies
'Neath cobwebby frames and old air
Remnants of a life long dead,
A love still living in a distant past.
I hear the sweetness of a tiny bit of violin,
Muffled girlish laughter,
Shoes with elaborate bows dancing dainty steps
As the face in the photograph looks down
From his towering height into shining blue eyes.
A pocket watch with exquisite chain of gold
A lock of auburn hair inside a locket
A pressed flower so old, I cannot tell what it had been
A book of Keats, it's sanctuary........
And a prayer book with a scribbled prayer in spidery hand
"Please, please, please, dear Lord
Let this be the night he asks me!"
Underneath a wedding veil, a Bible with crumbling cover
Inside, the marriage recorded for all the world to see
Oh, happy, happy day! She has written in bold letters
And I feel the joy and smile at her rejoicing.
In a brocaded box, a baby's tooth, a curl tied with thread
A christening dress, what used to be a doll
With reverent hands I pull the items towards me
Breathe in the musty memories they eminate
And gently place them back inside the trunk.
In the corner, stuck inside a seam, I see a picture
Creased and faded almost into non existence
The woman's blue eyes, still shining, still full of love
Sitting in a rocking chair, holding a doll
As though it was her sole salvation.
No gown of yellow adorned her frame
And I could not hear the violin's tender trill
But I knew that it was her
And for a moment, it flashed into my mind
That she could see me seeing her
See me holding the remnants of her life
Celebrating her little victories
And great, great losses
Now silently announced by the ugly black dress
And by an unspeakable sorrow on a yet young face.
"I'm so sorry." I whisper
And close the trunk in slow retreat
Passing an ancient mirror standing like a portal
To another world in that dusty, forgotten attic,
I catch a glimpse of my own face surrounded by untidy curls
With similiar eyes and inherited sadnesses
It is her face there staring back at me
"It is our face." I think and touch my rounded belly
With a new mother's hands
Perhaps, it'll be her face, too. And I'll bring her here
To see where she came from, how strong the genes imparted
How thick the blood, how deep the love that survives the sorrow
Down through the ages
And imprinted on the cherished things she touched
Almost disintegrated now
But living still
Inside that dusty trunk.
© May 14, 07 3 p.m.