The Memory Box
by Judith Harway


"Open it," he told me, "when you miss me."
And, like a prayer, my son pressed this,
a tiny plastic box, into my hands.
I'm far enough from home to shift the lid
a crack, no wider than the moment
between sleep and waking, holy keyhole

giving us a glimpse of other worlds. Oh, God
of Trivia, how you have blessed me!
Lego bricks, a cloud of rubber flies,
two spindly worry-dolls
in crimson trousers, and a pale grey stone,
amalgam of a myriad of ancient lives.

And miracles occur, however small. I'm writing this
for him because a poem begins
where language fails, where ordinary words
go hungry for importance; because, I've read,
when no food is available, raccoons come down
to wash their perfect chips of stone by moonlight.






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