A mixed-format poem about the symbolism of a hand-carved cypress knee stump gift.
|The Heartfelt Cypress Knee Stump
The sibling are gathered to sort through
their newly deceased father’s
store of prized personal items,
those things he held most dear.
Coming upon a small cypress knee stump
with a polished, rounded top and having
a heart-shaped drawer carved through its center,
the daughter, now in her 50s,
has a spark blaze up deep within her mind.
She vaguely recognizes this cypress stump
as being from a time long ago.
A slip of paper addressed to her is attached.
Back when you were only a young teenage girl,
the birthday after your mom and I did part,
since I’d no longer be in your everyday world,
I gave this to tell you you’d remain in my heart.
Being young and not yet polite, you returned
my gift, saying you had no use for a stump.
I’ll admit at the time your reaction burned.
The symbolism for you was too large a jump.
All these long years I kept this old cypress knee,
admiring the hand-crafted heart-shaped drawer.
It soon came to represent just how dear to me
you’d always remain, someone to love evermore.
Every day when I’d look upon this stump’s heart,
I would think of you, daughter, and always smile.
Now that my life is up and I had to depart,
please accept this stump and treasure it for a while.
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