It was there,
opening its pages
to my earliest memories.
Tacky, old-timey, time-related prints
belied a real-time time-capsule,
an existential floatation device,
forever buoyant, proof that
folks I clung to as a tiny child
lived, breathed, loved,
and touched my senses.
I always hid my face
in Terri Ann’s skirt.
But then momma would break out
her tacky-looking picture book
and I’d gleefully snatch it away
climbing the couch, legs dangling
tour-guiding for anyone who’d listen.
“This is my daddy’s dad, Barry II,” I’d say,
pointing to a stern-looking grayscale face.
“I never met him. He died of frostbite,
at war with the Koreans.”
Thumbing through the familiar pages
with tiny hands, “This is my daddy
when he was young.
He’s the third Barry; I’m the fourth,”
I’d declare proudly,
checking my audience’s reactions.
“Daddy was an Airborne Ranger then.
He could beat-up Muhammad Ali!”
I’d claim, having no statistical evidence,
I just went with my gut.
“We all use to live together,” I’d confide.
“He and momma used to love each other,
Well, not no more, but they still love me.
And we’re all still together here,
in momma’s book!”
I don’t recall where she bought the ugly thing
But if I close my eyes, I can still see her
Painstakingly pressing the images on tacky bindings
Filling every page with nostalgia and her cousins
Cramming more inside the back binding when space ran out
It is possible that this artifact is older
than my own four-decade journey
It is even tackier than it was then,
spine broken, scotch tape
back into a farce of order,
memories pouring from it
whenever handled unmindfully
Yet, I recoiled in horror when
wifey suggested a refurbishment.
This rickety, broken-spined book
was cobbled together
by the same hands that once
protected me and dried
my tears. Terri Ann’s voice
rang silent years ago, but
reaching out to touch this book
is like reaching through the ether
to touch her, or even the
tiny person I once was.
Terri and Barry are both gone now,
but through this tacky-looking,
rickety old, unkempt book
we are still together.
Now, just sit next to me
a moment longer, and
I’ll show you one more thing.
Inside the front cover, an inscription;
“Terri, time passes by faster then you think.”
An imperfect book
with an imperfect reminder
from Terri Ann To herself.
As a child, this cryptic line held little meaning
Once educated, I silently mocked
the imperfect grammar.
Looking back, I now suspect that
Terri Ann was right all along.
NaPoWriMo Day 8: Written for dVerse ~ Poetics – Looking for Treasure. For today’s dVerse, our friend Mary asked us to search our homes for items of sentimental value and write about them. Well I didn’t have to search for long…