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In my experience, most adults have “vanity walls”, usually in their offices, where they hang diplomas, awards, certificates and important pictures. Most parents I know have them.

I like to look carefully at those momentos - they’re like breadcrumbs tracing back through their lives. Some items are expected while others are extraordinary - like pictures of Lisa’s dad playing golf and laughing with famous people.

“It’s a very particular kind of vanity.” Lisa’s dad said, from in back of me, from his office doorway. I almost jumped in surprise - I definitely flinched. I’d become so absorbed in examining his wall that I’d unconsciously inched into his space, like someone stealing into a closed museum exhibit.

I flushed with embarrassment, ”No,” I said, making a hand gesture that swept the area. “I LOVE these kinds of things - I couldn’t resist - I’m sorry!”

He made a “Pssshtt” sound and waved his hand, “You make yourself at home.”

“I want to have a wall someday,” I said. He smilingly turned and with a little backward wave, said, “You will,” as he strolled off to the kitchen, leaving me to continue my tour.

I will.
adults lives are interesting - they’ve been there and DONE it.
Ileana Amara Apr 2020
In an old bedroom filled with art,
I tied my hair up, willingly about to go through the boxed mementos.
A wave of anxiety and nostalgia crash over me,
like The Great Wave of Kanagawa,
while I stood idly framed by the large, cresting waves.

I was born the day I learned how to love,
and cursed when I learned how to feel things too deeply.

Inside the boxed mementos is a timeless tale of two distorted hearts;
Wilted flowers, photographs, old handwritten letters...
Do we box these memories in fear of completely forgetting them?
It was a ticket to a sepia-toned memory lane,
Engulfing my heart and soul,
with  memories that will forever be memories.

IA
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Photographs
by Michael R. Burch

Here are the effects of a life
and they might tell us a tale
(if only we had time to listen)
of how each imperiled tear would glisten,
remembered as brightness in her eyes,
and how each dawn’s dramatic skies
could never match such pale azure.

Like dreams of her, these ghosts endure
and they tell us a tale of impatient glory . . .
till a line appears—a trace of worry?—
or the wayward track of a wandering smile
which even now can charm, beguile?

We might find good cause to wonder
as we see her pause (to frown?, to ponder?):
what vexed her in her loveliness . . .
what weight, what crushing heaviness
turned her auburn hair a frazzled gray,
and stole her youth before her day?

We might ask ourselves: did Time devour
the passion with the ravaged flower?
But here and there a smile will bloom
to light the leaden, shadowed gloom
that always seems to linger near . . .

And here we find a single tear:
it shimmers like translucent dew
and tells us Anguish touched her too,
and did not spare her for her hair's
burnt copper, or her eyes' soft hue.

Published in Tucumcari Literary Review (the first poem in its issue). Keywords/Tags: photos, photographs, pictures, album, keepsakes, mementos, ghosts, phantoms, past, memories, recollections, tears, grief, anguish, glory
Michael R Burch Apr 2020
Album
by Michael R. Burch

I caress them—trapped in brittle cellophane—
and I see how young they were, and how unwise;
and I remember their first flight—an old prop plane,
their blissful arc through alien blue skies ...

And I touch them here through leaves which—tattered, frayed—
are also wings, but wings that never flew:
like Nabokov’s wings—pinned, held. Here, time delayed,
their features never merged, remaining two ...

And Grief, which lurked unseen beyond the lens
or in shadows where It crept on furtive claws
as It scritched Its way into their hearts, depends
on sorrows such as theirs, and works Its jaws ...

and slavers for Its meat—those young, unwise,
who naively dare to dream, yet fail to see
how, lumbering sunward, Hope, ungainly, flies,
clutching to Her ruffled breast what must not be.

Keywords/Tags: album, photos, photographs, pictures, mementos, keepsakes, cellophane, yellowed, leaves, pinned, held, imprisoned, time, delayed
Silver Raven Mar 2019
Grab a hold of what is precious.
Clench it tight or else you will lose it.
With all your strength and heart,
Do not lose to Restart.
Quick! It’s slipping away!
Oh dear, you have gone astray.
What happened to your shine?
Was it released
To the hands of Time
Soon to be deceased?

But! You have a chance
To fly high
And search wide.
No matter the stumbles
Never give in
Hurry now empty vessel
Awaken!
Get your precious back.
Fill your purpose with
Your true version you currently lack.
Always return to retrieve what’s yours
eleanor prince Jul 2018
mementos
richly held
hidden in
fractured chest

big people
shifting boxes
heavy
light

silenced
a child's fissure
clasping favourite shell
close

swift salvage
in tight world
rescue from
gaping hole




#family #disruption #moving #treasures #mementos #lost #ignored
For a very young child, moving house can be incredibly bewildering, disruptive, even traumatizing, especially when moving countries tends to mean belongings need to be severely curtailed.  Few remember their own childhood attachments, closely held treasures, even if perceived by harried adults as inconsequential as a bag of broken seashells.  Would a little more listening and empathic explanation with kindness ease things well at such transition times
Journey of Days Apr 2017
coffee cup trails you have left through the house
trace your steps
as you moved from the couch to your desk and back

the crumbs on the bench
speak of yet another meal
we have not shared this week

the towel on the rack
and smell of your soap
just missed you again

it’s still warm in the bed
that you left
just now without saying goodbye

because I wasn’t there
and neither were you
at the same time

unremarkable mementos
there are traces of us everywhere
one more week
and our life returns to normal

@journeyofdays
Leigh Marie Oct 2016
Trips to New York City
Audrey Hepburn
Online shopping and
weekends I cried my soul out
My walls tell a story

Quotes that made me feel something
tickets from my
happiest days
Fabric birds from a place
where my heart belongs
My walls tell a story

How my ex boyfriends mom
treated me like her own daughter
Days my dad treated me
like his daughter
My walls tell a story

Tucked away in the top drawer
on the right hand side of my desk
is a photo that tells the beginning of the story
it used to be a piece of the map on my wall
but now, it sleeps hidden
beneath my wall of tales and better times
It marked the beginning
of what I believed to be my happy ending
the week I'll never forget
It still tells a story,
our story but
doesn't deserve to be on display
only taken out for the eyes that I choose
I hide all of my folded photos,
my stained memories

my drawers are over filling with misconceptions and insecurities
My drawers tell a story

I need to clean up but my back hurts my heart aches
My floor tells a story

I'm just too tired
It's best I sleep
My bed tells a story

All while I remain silent  
I'm trying to forget why I
feel sad but I keep tripping
over my regrets and
Old mistakes

I'm sick of these stories
Get rid of these stories
Break down my walls
Happy times are mocking me cause
I don't feel happy any more
Can't make good memories anymore
Cause the people I made them with
left and left my walls shaking
crumbling but reminding me
My walls tell a story
Brent Kincaid Oct 2016
So many roads I have walked
That I sometimes forget the path.
I’ve been around for decades now.
I’m rather old, so do the math.
So many names and so many faces
I knew and loved have come and gone.
I learned long ago, to let them go
To cherish our time and then move on.

Yesterday’s in-jokes like hairdos
Have changed and been forgotten.
I am not the same kid today I was
Back when my hair looked like cotton.
I don’t run as fast as I once did;
I am not much into random chasing.
Much of the drive I had long ago
Is ever so slowly self-erasing.

I do recall leaping off my couch
To take the day by the throat.
These days, I rise rather noisily
Sounding like an aging old goat.
I have to carefully watch my diet
Because things no longer function
The way they used to back then,
At a former, youthful junction.

But oh the memories I do recall
Of lovely people and adventures.
Back when I was free of arthritis
And unplagued by any dentures.
I still try to be that person now,
But I am dancing much more seldom.
Instead of being on my roller skates
I am on eBay trying to sell them.
Brent Kincaid May 2015
I closed the box and hid it
So many years ago now
That I forgot all about it
But, I am not sure how.
It meant so much to me
Back when memory hurt.
I told myself I was a victim
And love had done me dirt.

It was only a short affair
Love lasting longer than the act.
I labeled it to myself and others
As the best as a matter of fact.
Prince Charming and all that;
The love of my life back then.
The most I had ever ventured;
The fullest my heart had been.

I only had to see my love
For all of my plans to change
To fall so fast and so hard
Never for a moment felt strange.
It felt so completely natural
To dedicate all of my dreams
And all of my hope for life.
Now, how crazy that seems.

But who can tell young love
How to behave and how to act.
It sometimes seems madness
As if I and the devil made a pact.
But it was more that someone
Looked and found love in my eyes.
When that is the feeling happening
Who stops to think of goodbyes?

I still have the love I felt then
And cradle it deep inside
And the box holds mementos
I carefully collected to hide.
Each item as I touch them
Takes me back to that day
And gives me back the love
I never want to feel go away.

— The End —