Three Things My Mother Had


To guard her treasures my mother had a jewel box,

lacquer lined with silk.  Within, the ornaments

were arrayed like butterflies pinned to a board. A fan

that once smelled of sandalwood. A favorite necklace,

coral beads bright as the blood drops on her pillow.

The tiny ivory elephant she'd someday ride away.

To remember her dreams my mother kept a journal,

black pebbled leather and perfumed ink. In it she wrote

imaginary tales of her real life.  The elegant townhouse

she'd live in.  Gourmet dinners at fine restaurants with

menus handwritten in French. Those stylish friends

who would call when someday finally came.

To share her hopes my mother bore a son. He was

blue-eyed, silent, steady as sweet grass in the wind,

and she adored him so. On bad nights they'd cuddle

while she explained what powers each treasure held,

how hopes can make your dreams be true.

His blue eyes promised...someday.

My mother has a grave to keep herself in now.

The box and book are with her but the boy is far away.

He had no treasures or dreams or hopes of his own,

and he understood that someday never comes.

William de Kypia