Shoeboxes on the Top Shelf

Come on, little girl
Bring them flowers inside
Hurry now, dry ‘em and die ‘em
And hang ‘em on the wall as memories

Between them ticket stubs, above them letters
Beneath photographs fadin’ with age
Amidst all them other flowers; memories on that wall

It’s that time again, girl
Git yourself another shoebox,
Strip that wall bare, cram that shrine inside
Too good for garbage cans but nothing jist the same

That’s right there, girl
File it between James and John
Close that closet door and
Sit – on the other side – and cry
Thinking on how you won’t open it again

But to file another lifetime away

written in 2005

This month, I’m encouraging a love of poetry by posting one of my own each day. It’s National Poetry Month, and this genre of writing has always been an outlet for me. The picture that accompanies this poem partly inspired this poem. In later years, the tokens I accumulated were often flowers that I’d dried and saved. I think readers can relate to the idea of having a relationship or season of life come to an end, but not knowing what to do with the associated sentimental items collected over time. Sometimes, the memories are still good ones, but what purpose do dead flowers in a box really serve? This poem explores that dilemma.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s