Taylor Graham

(Pasadena, CA)

Unpacking Mother's Things


Her wedding picture’s with the recipes
for meatloaf. Months before Mother died
she saved this lock, but kept unmatching keys.

This purse holds rings and tokens. Like a tease,
a box within a box, tucked safe inside,
her wedding picture’s with the recipes.

She loved to cook. Now, here’s a bunch of peas,
some lentils and a sprig of parsley, dried.
She saved this lock, but kept unmatching keys

all sorted by some system based on threes,
perhaps, or color. Logic is defied:
her wedding picture’s with the recipes

and here’s a broken comb and two dead bees,
a postcard of a mule with boy astride.
She saved this lock, but kept unmatching keys

while autumn headed for its first hard freeze
and she put mind and memory aside.
Her wedding picture’s with the recipes
she saved and locked, and kept unmatching keys.

Submitted: Tuesday, August 24, 2010
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  • Hatch Graham (9/4/2010 1:55:00 PM)

    A touching villanelle about a parent with Alzheimer's -understated emotion, it grips the heart, nevertheless. (Report) Reply

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