by Carmen H Gray

I sifted through old things in boxes today

A positive pregnancy test

A dress she wore when she was 6

Her port from the chemotherapy

Letters upon letters: “you will kick cancer’s ass”

“This sea glass reflects a light in you”

“Can I please have a bunny, mom? I want a goddamn bunny! I promise I’ll take care of it”

All things that came to pass after all

Her gratitude in the midst of hell

The list of reasons why her nurses and doctors were the kindest souls she ever knew

Wigs she wore maybe once, yet tenderly kept

Hot tears welled for all of the times I held them in

They must have been compartmentalized

Just like those things

Folded neatly to be stored and perused again

When time and good health bestowed

A moment to remember those symbolic totems

On a rainy Sunday in May

Years later

Isn’t it funny how full and empty

A cycle moves the memories

Of the brevity captured

In boxes




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