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Box of Treasures

by James Zealy

The tattered old Cigar box
Brims with slips of paper
Put aside but never forgotten
A remnant of a loved ones legacy

Days turn to weeks speed rapidly to years
The pain of loss so dear
It flashes memories of times dear
Of flowers in spring, of rolling hills of tobacco

A menagerie of life, pets, plants, livestock, people
Flashes rapidly by, building images of pleasant times
The old farm house a testament of life and love
The land so dear, now gone

Time depletes the pain
A renewal of life in the land
Flushes all the past back at hand
With Curious anxiety the box attracts
A heart ready to face the past

Each piece of paper a nugget of days past
Memories long forgotten rise again
As if its keeper is being lead
To rediscover a hidden script

The anxiety fades, exhilaration builds
An Ethereal revelation of memories
Constructed with each unique scrap
Entices the boxes keeper to search for meaning

Cryptic pieces of another’s life
Treasures passed to one who cares
To make things known undefined
A mission of love and care begins


Author's Note: My wife's grandmother died 2 months after we were married, in 1976. Due to health reasons, she was not able to go see her when she was hospitilized. Our marriage was the last time she saw her. One of the remnants of her legacy were some old cigar boxes containing recipes, old wedding invitations etc. For many years she was never able to look at the boxes contents. Most of her fondest memories growing up were spent on her grandparents farm in rural Davidson County NC. In recent years she opened the boxes to begin writing a cookbook.

Posted on 05/07/2004
Copyright © 2021 James Zealy

Member Comments on this Poem
Posted by Mara Meade on 05/07/04 at 05:10 PM

I didn't have to read your author's note to understand this... I could see my own granparent's house and the cotton fields, smell the cedar in the attic, understand the treasures that can be too painful to approach... beautiful piece.

Posted by Thomas K. Hunt on 05/07/04 at 09:49 PM

Treasures to one who cares...Excellent. Welcome to Pathetic

Posted by JD Clay on 05/09/04 at 12:22 AM

This fine piece certainly tugs at the heartstrings, James, and your eloquent account will definitely serve as a memorialization and a fitting addition to those treasure boxes to come. Pe4ce...

Posted by Ashley Beaudoin on 05/09/04 at 05:42 PM

A wonderful piece, brings back the memories of my own grandmother that passed away and the stuff of hers that I still have a hard time to look at but could never let go, because years down the road I may to get that 'curious anxiety' to know what it was I have of her other then memories.

Posted by Paganini Jones on 05/10/04 at 08:14 PM

For me, this line stands out above the rest - "Each piece of paper a nugget of days past," - a clear image that has layers of meaning in it.

Posted by Alison McKenzie on 07/02/09 at 04:26 AM

Congratulations on POTD, James. This is a keepsake of a poem!!!

Posted by Dave Fitzgerald on 07/02/09 at 06:19 PM

Excellent POTD

Posted by A. Paige White on 07/02/09 at 08:20 PM

Congratulations on POTD!

Posted by Clara Mae Gregory on 07/03/09 at 12:18 AM

Ah, one of my old favorites. Congrats on POTD! ~HUGS

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