Treasured Kitsch

Mother’s treasured knick knack,
miniature rotary telephone.
Two metal pieces, one with delicate dial,
still turns by clumsy finger tip.
Second piece balances on first,
receiver, small enough I’m sure,
to span from fairy’s mouth to ear,
to listen and to talk.

Mother’s treasured knick knack,
best friend’s gift in ’37.
Yellowed fragile note,
pristine cursive of the day.
My dear sweet Helen,
Always remember,
girl talk makes our days go faster.
Love from Franny, forever.

Mother’s treasured knick knack
sits on dusty shelf,
beside great-grandmum’s cameo brooch,
glass hat pin
and wound-to-tight music box.
Worthless items today,
to you.
Priceless to me.


It’s Tuesday Poetics at dVerse, the virtual pub for poets. Sarah is hosting and asks us to be mindful about a particular object….any object. Pick it up, examine it, write anything that comes to mind from it…and then from those thoughts, write a poem.

22 thoughts on “Treasured Kitsch

    • lillian September 27, 2018 / 9:06 am

      It is really really tiny! Amazing that the very delicate little rotary dial is still intact after all these years.

      Liked by 1 person

  1. Waltermarks September 25, 2018 / 8:16 pm

    Not at all worthless, they are objects of great treasure. I love the note included from her friend. It lends provenance to the story

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 27, 2018 / 9:07 am

      My mom (Helen) and Franny shared valentines and news clippings of poems — I still have some of them. It was a very special friendship — one that because of our business and social media, can never be replicated.

      Liked by 1 person

  2. rothpoetry September 25, 2018 / 10:55 pm

    I find there are a lot of priceless things in life that are not worth much to others. Very nice!

    Liked by 1 person

  3. kim881 September 26, 2018 / 3:44 am

    I enjoyed reading your poem, Lill, but the images made me gasp – I’ve never seen such a tiny telephone! I love the way your imagination wanders to:
    ‘receiver, small enough I’m sure,
    to span from fairy’s mouth to ear’.
    What an amazing keepsake – and it’s lasted all those years, too.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 27, 2018 / 9:10 am

      Thank you, Kim. It really really is tiny — and although made of metal, it is very delicate. Most amazing that the tiny tiny rotary dial is still attached and you can, albeit very carefully, turn it still! I’ve showed it to my daughter … along with the tiny ceramic statue of a stork that was the cake decoration for my mom’s baby shower for me! …. so she knows what they are. Hopefully they’ll be passed on to another generation. 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  4. sarahsouthwest September 26, 2018 / 4:13 am

    Wow, Lillian, I’m all goosebumps, and I have tears in my eyes. There’s something about those treasured little items, worth so little, but worth so very much. I’m glad it’s still treasured.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 27, 2018 / 9:11 am

      Thank you, Sarah! It is really really really tiny and, even though it’s made of metal, it is very delicate. I’ve told my daughter about its origins, and showed it to her — so hopefully it will be treasured for another generation! 😉

      Liked by 1 person

  5. Björn Rudberg (brudberg) September 26, 2018 / 4:30 am

    Especially love that note.. and I also wonder if will ever be worthless… those rotary dial phones are not known anymore by the younger generation

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 27, 2018 / 9:11 am

      Someday, people won’t even know what it is! 😦 But, I’ve showed it to my daughter, explained its origins, and hopefully when I’m gone, it will be treasure into another generation. 🙂


  6. Jo September 26, 2018 / 11:57 am

    Love that reminder that even though things may seem ‘worthless’, they are priceless when it comes to memories of the heart.

    Liked by 1 person

    • lillian September 27, 2018 / 9:15 am

      Hah! Years ago, when my daughter was 13 (she’s 44 now), I borrowed a videocamera from our library (no cell phones etc then and we couldn’t afford a “movie camera”) and made a long long video of the house we lived in, the neighborhood, the schools they went to etc. I did close-ups of, for example, the shelves in her room with her doll collection, mementos and trophies on her dresser, knick knacks in the living room…and my voice explains them all. I hadn’t looked at it in years…and decided to watch it one night when she and her family were with us. Oh my! And at one point, she said out loud to her son, “Look at that, Styler! That’s our old phone on our wall! They used to have phones on walls!” 🙂

      Liked by 1 person

  7. Mish September 28, 2018 / 7:59 pm

    Sorry for this late response, Lil.

    This teeny tiny phone, the note and your words are all so precious. Modern day knick knacks cannot compare! I wish I had a daughter to pass down such things. Not so sure my sons would feel the sentimentality.


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