Discarded Memories: cherished series, opus 4

Our family bible was leather bound with gilt edges, like a large coffee-table book, except it sat on an out-of-the-way end table. Mother listened raptly to the door-to-door salesman and agreed. Books you own are a sign of pedigree. And then she filed away the precious threads of her life between its pages.

I used to sit fingering the bits and pieces of family history. Poems on scraps of paper with her handwriting: 1944 ~ Bud this is how much I love you. There was yellowed newsprint: Arthur Petitclair, dead at 58 with the smiling face of my grandfather staring out at me. A fragile, stained news clipping introduced Butch, the cousin I never met. …tragically found dead in his bed on Tuesday morning, at age eight, by his mother, Helvie Petitclair. There were holy cards of Mary and Saint Francis, and handmade cards drawn in those primary color thick crayons we had in grade school.

My parents called. We sold the house and everything in it to a nice young family.  Everything? Everything. We just want to move on.

A nice young family? I suppose they held the bible upside down and shook out all those scraps of history. They probably sit and read the real text inside the leather cover.

4 thoughts on “Discarded Memories: cherished series, opus 4

  1. BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb May 20, 2015 / 2:40 am

    Touches my heart and soul as I read tonight.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack May 20, 2015 / 10:50 am

    Lillian –
    This was beautiful. So very true about family Bibles often times nesting our precious histories. I love the way this ended – perfect – not overly-sentimental.
    Happy Wednesday.
    am:)

    Liked by 1 person

  3. lillian May 20, 2015 / 11:40 am

    Thanks much. This was written in my very first poetry class — first attempt at a prose poem. That was in February. Had not “aired” it till now as I was working on the ending. The discussion I’d had with my mentor was about “sentimentality” in poetry….and since then, I’ve read articles on it too. So am very happy to see your comment on the ending. This is about the 10th reiteration of the ending — and I was finally happier with it. Maybe when we write about something that is close to us, it’s harder to step back and write it so the reader just “experiences” it — without it being tinged by our “sentimentality”. mmmmm …..on to my second cup of coffee! 🙂 Should also add, the title kept flip flopping…if the title is supposed to “draw in” the reader, this title doesn’t do it. But — I gave up and just blogged it as is.
    lillian

    Liked by 1 person

  4. momfawn May 22, 2015 / 2:30 pm

    So often it is those bits and pieces “tucked in” that bring a Bible to life. In all her years as an antique dealer, my mom never sold a Bible. If someone was interested, she would give it to them, but she felt the Bible should not be sold. I love this poem. (And I love AnnMarie Roselli-Kissack, who sent me here.) – Fawn

    Like

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