the box

slowly, reluctantly, i close the lid on the small, scarred, cedar box

it had been mine as a young girl, but somewhere along the way it became yours… i suppose it’s mine again, these details are difficult to fathom, even on the best of days

i gently, almost reverently, open the box again, and take in its contents…

your worn wallet, holding the license that expired nearly a decade ago, a tiny copy of your diploma (a sign of how young you were when you carried it)

there is a picture of a girl you loved, some paper money of a sort no longer printed, and a two dollar bill from Grandpa

in the box are a few notes you wrote, and pins that never were put on your school jacket, keys for cars no one owns and for motorcycles in pieces scattered like leaves

a letter from a college, an old empty shotgun shell, and a couple of arrowheads you found near the creekside

pay stubs from two jobs, and business cards from people you met…i wonder if you ever cross their minds

a couple of old collectible coins in holders that you saved like treasures through the years…

there’s a plastic bag, inside are some locks of hair they shaved before your first brain surgery…they always hand this to the mom, i don’t know why

i found myself clinging to everything that was you, and so, twelve years later, i still have that bag

i used to look through the box as though i might find you there

or maybe the secret to unlock your prison and set you free…but it’s not in there

i let the weight of the lid fall, and silently slip the box into its place on the shelf, until i next feel the need to visit

i’ve started a new box now, just as you have started over

it’s very different, just as you, we, are all changed…but life is about change, isn’t it?


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