Three Things My Mother Had


To guard her treasures my Mother had a jewel box

made of lacquer lined with silk.  Within, like butterflies

pinned to a board those things she loved reposed.  A fan

that once smelled of sandalwood.  Her favorite necklace,

coral beads bright as the blood drops on her pillow.

A tiny ivory elephant she would ride away some day.

To remember her dreams my Mother kept a journal,

black pebbled leather, perfumed ink.  In it she drew

imaginary maps of our real life.  The elegant townhouse

we’d live in, all of us but one.  Fine dinners at restaurants

with menus handwritten in French.  Those stylish

friends who would call when After 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 doted on him so.  On bad nights they’d snuggle

while she explained once more what powers each treasure

possessed, how hopes make dreams be true.

His blue eyes glittered second chances.

My Mother has a grave to keep herself in now.

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

He never had treasures or dreams or hopes of his own

and he couldn’t wait around till After finally came. 

William de Kypia