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.