written by: JPK
Such things she kept, to hold her memories in.
A pretty box, a tin, a January journal
eternally returning to a long past year,
here in a pile atop her empty bed,
here to be discarded or, at last, be read.
Rimed with a film of dust and breath
an ancient kitten gazes
from a festive tin.
Hazed and rusted, captured
unchanging in enamel glaze.
Under the reluctant lid the sleeping scents
of Bourbon Cremes and Wafer Pinks await
the long missed kiss of air. Draw in, exhale,
pale memories of sweetness and
long eaten Christmas treats.
And in their place are pictures,
packed and bound in perished bands.
Box Brownie ancestors, their Instamatic young.
Snap, a child; snap, a wife; snap, a life is captured.
Caught in silver salts.
A wartime bride who has my eyes,
a dark haired man in black and white.
They look out from a formal frame,
ready to claim the shining dues of youth.
They walk into a future now gone past.
A child, another child, until we stand five in a row.
The shutter snaps off shards of time,
suspends us in emulsion on thin card.
We grow and as we age
each frame grows younger.
The groom is gone, the bride in black
is girded by her young.
Her widow’s back curves in a question mark.
Where has the future gone?
She’s kept it in a biscuit tin.
I touch my breast to feel a final snap.
The bride, black bounded now,
surrounded by indulgence of all sin.
I place this one last memory on the top
and close the biscuit tin.
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