Janice Windle


(Memory Chest) Salvaging the Past


How surprised the sea-chest must have been
when it left the sea
began voyaging with me.
No more travelling in the creak of the hold,
bringing home trinkets
from Sorrento and Port Said

Instead
the trunk set out on my Rake's Progress through
West London's bedsits and flatshares,
painted white in my minimalist period,
covered with a kilim in my exotic Ealing phase,
acquired the status of the Holy Ark
when my childhood's relics, unearthed
from my parents' attic,
found no other home than this dark space,

doubly dark, it rested under my own roof
when for three decades my life I
threw down an anchor, moored
and grew stiff with barnacles
When the storm broke.
the trunk was salvaged, and
I added relics of another childhood to its store.
These little shoes that danced,
these pictures from distant Mothers' Days,
concrete evidence of time gone..
And now., what is its fate?
This little chest has held my past
for over forty years. Shall I now inter more relics there?
Or...................?

Submitted: Thursday, April 09, 2009
Edited: Saturday, May 02, 2009
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