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Trin Feb 2019
My family doesn’t talk about our past,
but the stories and memories are fading fast.
Fascinated by history passed through the generations
I could no longer contain my urge to ask questions.
I was fearful of the supressed emotional past,
but eventually built up the courage to ask.
“Grandma, can you tell me about when you were young?”
Instantly I bit my tongue,
but she agreed, letting out a distant sigh
and holding back the urge to cry.
Grandma took a seat in her favorite rocking chair.
Back and forth she rocked in silent despair.
her gaze focused on something distant,
the squeak of the chair eerily constant.
Back and forth she would constantly rock,
again and again, ticking like a clock.
Finally she looked at me and began;
“Life was very different when I was young.
One Christmas when I was about ten
I received a fountain pen.
The most expensive one my mom could find.
She told had me it was one of a kind.
I used that pen every single day
until its ink eventually faded away.
I have kept the empty pen as my treasure
and let it serve as a measure
of the harder times I’ve been through
and changes in life I value.”
My grandma fell silent as she continued to rock
and I couldn’t help but sit there in utter shock.
I was unable to fully grasp the meaning she tried to convey
until suddenly I realized what she was trying to say.
It’s not the physical gift that is important
but the love of family that is eternally constant.
Trin Jan 2019
Roughly translated as
sleep bed. The straw filled
antique was given to my father from his
great aunt… or so mom thinks.

The soft, bloated cushion of a bench
attempts to mold to its inhabitant.
But its fabric is stiff, unable to fully comply,
forcing the person to hover in a state of suspense,

The wooden frame creaks at the
weight it is forced to endure.
For hundreds of years it has so generously
comforted the home in which it resides.

The family pulls it open once a year,
stretching out its brittle limbs,
engulfed in the musky smell of history,
fantasizing what it was like to sleep upon it.

They wipe away dust,
airing out the wretched smell of the past,
and re-polish its wood, as if to make it
presentable for the twenty-first century.

A reminder of the family who were not as
fortunate as we are today.
The times were harder then,
the weight of their stress heavier.

Our ancestors worked their fingers to the bone
so that we may live a life of comfort.
Folding it closed, like an unfinished book
its stories are a comfy reminder of a life once lived.
Trin Jan 2019
Mangle, the word alone indicates destruction.
the mutilation of an object until it is unrecognizable,
like the hands of maids in the 1800s.
The mangle has become a symbol of the working class.

An overpopulated, but unheard society.
Forced to work twelve hour days,
running at the whim of the wealthy,
unspoken and underpaid.

Diligently they worked,
sweat dripping from their brows as they scrubbed
the oil from the fabric and their hands,
washing away the filth from previous days.

Two heavy wooden rollers tightly aligned,
crushing spirits of the working class.
Wringing them dry like the sheet on wash day,
torturously expelling water from the already beaten cloth.

Buttons crushed under the intensity of pressure.
Hope dampened at the first attempt,
subjected to a second, if not third round of torture.
Only to accidentally leave an undesired crease.

A dangerous job meant for two,
hindered by the unraveling of a loose thread.
Forced to repeat the process again and again,
until finally, they reach perfection.

I can only imagine the history passed down
through the decades.
Put on display and overlooked
by a generation overwhelmed by technology.

The mangle is now a decoration piece from Grandma,
used as a table to support my coffee.
Its story, like the linen it so helplessly crushed,
a memoir of the working class.
The mangle is an antique washing machine used in the 1800s, if you don't know what it is, I encourage you to look it up :)
Trin Jan 2019
Isn’t it funny,
The happiness we pretend to have
Is the very thing
Holding us back from living.

— The End —