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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1919824
by Harry
Rated: ASR · Poetry · Family · #1919824
A free verse poem about memories kept locked away in the attic.
The young girl is helping
her favorite grandmother
sort through a cedar chest
that has sat in the attic
of her grandparents’ house
for four decades untouched.

One long-forgotten treasure
after another is extracted
for examination. Lace-trimmed
handkerchiefs with the initials
MJS cause the girl to ask
“Whose were those, Grandma?”
“They were mine, dear, back
before I was married.”

Next they remove a bundle
of age-spotted letters bound
with a faded red ribbon,
followed by a thick book,
which opens to reveal
a dried corsage of once-red roses
pressed flat between its pages.
Memories pour forth from the
deep recesses of her mind,
causing a smile to light up
the old woman’s wrinkled face.

“What are those, Grandma Mary?”
“These are a keepsake of mine.
I wore this corsage to my senior
prom dance. The love of my life
gave it to me to wear that night.”
Tears fill her eyes and begin
to wet her cheeks as she dabs.

“So Grandpa gave them to you?”
“No, dear, I hadn’t even met your
grandfather way back then.”
“What? You loved a man before
you married Grandpa?”
“Yes, dear, I was once a young
girl very much in love with
a special young man. We had
plans to marry one day,
but it wasn’t to be.”

“What happened, Grandma?”
The old woman fondles the
browned dried flowers and
watches desiccated petals
crumble in her gnarled hands.
A faraway look fills her eyes,
as she silently relives those
precious events. Tears once
again flow down her cheeks,
while she clutches the letters
tightly against her breast.

Finally, she answers.
“My love went away to war
on the other side of the world.
He wrote me every day …
until one day his letters stopped.
He was killed in combat.
My heart died with his.
Fortunately, several years
afterwards I met and married
your Grandpa. I ended up
having a good life after all.”

The young girl sits lost in
thought for awhile. Then she
asks, “Do you love Grandpa
as much as you loved that young
man who was your first love?”
“Of course, dear,” comes the reply,
even though in her heart the old
grandmother knows that she lies.

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Printed from https://www.Writing.Com/view/1919824