Portrait Etude

She was a collector.

Shelves crowded with knick knacks,
salt and pepper shakers, silver spoons
Avon bottles and beanie bags.

National Geographics on every table,
grampa’s pipe still resting
in the Illinois shaped 
tin ash tray.

And that was just downstairs.
Climbing up the wooden creaking stairs
revealed a musty attic world.

Windows, long sealed shut
looked down on a weed covered yard,
sidewalks where she drew hop scotches.

Cobwebs bruhsed aside,
we found two trunks, rusty latches
opened decades of memories.

Grampa’s morning coat and grey ascot,
folded atop her yellowed wedding dress,
fragile lace-edged mutton sleeves.

A seed pearl hat pin firmly afixed
to a Juliet cap with fragile tulle veil,
so delicate still.

And there, below the clothes,
the small white leather bible,
wrapped in once white supple leather gloves.

The final layer,
a stack of valentines
tied in faded ribbon.

Their loving epitaph etched
in a tombstone seven miles away,
more alive here
in this trunk of memories.

9 thoughts on “Portrait Etude

  1. BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb June 4, 2015 / 6:29 am

    Whew! Precious and poignant. And so beautifully expressed. A treasured gem.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 4, 2015 / 10:00 am

      Thanks so much, Barbarak. So nice to see you this morning!
      Hoping you have a wonderful day…..sun is supposed to shine here in Boston. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      • BarbaraK aka fiddlbarb June 4, 2015 / 5:37 pm

        And wishing you the same. Hoping your sun does shine today.

        Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 4, 2015 / 10:01 am

      Thanks, Paul. Nice to see your reply this morning over my first cup of coffee! Truly treasure your comments — as I admire your words so very much.

      Liked by 1 person

    • lillian June 4, 2015 / 1:10 pm

      Thanks! I’m having fun 🙂 Was thinking about you this morning — I’m off to yoga now. Hope we can get together this summer! Here or there….let’s think about what makes sense. Will email you later this afternoon!


    • lillian June 5, 2015 / 10:55 am

      Yoga was great. 🙂 Thanks so much for the comment and dropping by. I think there are two very special things I’ve learned (well actually many!) since I began this blogging journey in March — 1. it’s amazing the people you meet and 2) it’s even more amazing when you follow the “return policy” that’s so indigenous in the process (some Likes a poem or photo of yours, and you return to see who they are and 9 times out of 10 they catch your interest and you meander), how someone else’s words, photo, art, graphic, and strike a memory or a connection with you. So I’m happy my poem struck a chord with you. Hope to see you again….you might like the poem about the frame in my Cherished series….it’s about my mother and her dream 🙂
      hope to chat again 🙂


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