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Poem: Things You Kept in Mind

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Posted on January 13, 2015 | Blog Category:
By Gary Margolis



Things You Kept in Mind

         for my friends at Elderly Services

 

Sometimes all you need is to be

asked, to say what you’d store

in a metal box--bury, hide, lock

 

in a safe. Anywhere what you choose

could be found in a day, a hundred

years from now. By somebody

 

who still has your name. Who may not

know what they’re seeing,

what it was used for. Even the words

 

that go with its story. I’m here with you

around our aided table. Your local

Cornwall poet, trying to locate myself

 

in your unlocked faces. Knowing my day

will come if it already hasn’t.

I’ll be asked to remember things

 

I thought I’d forgotten. What you said

today: Chairs in a deer camp. A musket

broken in half. A few tines. And one

 

canon ball George found on a walk

on America’s first Cape he used

as a door stop. Phil stops for a moment

 

before he thinks to say,

There were slaves chained in a hole

near where I lived in Winthrop, New York.

 

Henry speaks for the freed men

following the Underground Railroad

here in Vermont. And his wife’s

 

wedding ring. The letters, Lovey, sitting

to my left, wrote, I’m imagining for her.

Lines that will be read in her hand.

 

By love’s stranger.

Call it the wind that can open a box.

The sun melting a lock.

 

— Gary Margolis, Cornwall

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