The Box

A Poem

The Box, A Poem by Pamela Simmonds

Photo by Debby Hudson on Unsplash

I opened the box in front of me and discovered
A bundle of memories wrapped in a ribbon

 

Stored away long ago to be preserved
I didn’t know her to be overly sentimental
But here they are

The letters that were written
Some never to be seen by the named recipient
Some so raw that the words hurt even now

I let the ribbon fall away from the paper
My fingers tracing the familiar script
Her handwriting taught to her by her mother
And reinforced by teachers
Back when handwriting and cursive were still important teachings
Before technology took over
Back when letter writing was common practice

And the only way people found out the real stories
About what their family and friends were experiencing in far off lands
Or even just a short distance away

Because sometimes writing the words would be easier

Than saying them out loud
There is emotion in a letter
That you might never see in a Twitter tweet or Facebook post
Because you can write it freely
And then never mail it
But the words have been sent into the universe
Through the very nature of holding a pen and letting the words flow

I read through the pages in my hand, feeling her emotions
As the words are pulled from the past
Remembering those times she has written about
Feeling her pain
Remembering her joy
I read every one

She was so young when some of them are written
So naive

Some are written to her husband, her parents and her children
Some to herself
I read every one

Then I fold them neatly and bundle them up with the pretty ribbon
And place them back into the box
Carefully labeling it MOM’S LETTERS

Because someday when I am gone my children will want to know
Who she was
What she feared
What she felt
And what she aspired to become

It’s all there
Written on lined paper in forgotten cursive script
Wrapped in a pretty ribbon
Waiting for them to discover

Their mother’s younger self

© 2020 Pamela Simmonds. All rights reserved.

Originally published in Empowered Hearts, 2017


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