The things we keep - Poem by Gerard Smyth
The things we keep are not the things we need:
the red flag and porcelain horse.
A calendar out of date since John Lennon was shot.
Those heaps that grow in the attic
and the garden shed: schoolbooks
of the old curriculum,
the winner's cup we refuse to relinquish,
a broken statue in salvaged shards;
black vinyl discs - each one with a groove
where the gramophone needle got stuck or skipped.
A carpenter's box with carpenter's tools,
a stack of cards from anniversaries
that added one more year to a love affair,
a marriage, a lost cause.
Soft toys reported missing long ago.
The Kodak camera bought with summer money -
a roll of film locked behind its shutter
holding secrets we'll never know.
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