Lloyd Barnhart


She was gone, and
He was left with two boxes.

One contained her ashes;
The other contained her life.

The ash box really held little of her;
Just dust really, not like her at all.

The life box on the other hand
Was a real treasure;
In it, she still lived.

He would spread her ashes on her garden,
And spend forever examining the stuff in her life box.

She had saved many photos,
Some very old…Some quite recent.

The photos were without documentation:
No names, dates, captions…nothing.

Who was that old guy
Who looked so like his brother?

Who was the pretty girl
Posing with those work horses?

He knew the pretty sisters;
For his mother was among them.

But that dog was a real mystery
He was obviously special, but to whom?

There were cards and letters
From special friends and family.

Most were well worn
From being read and re-read.

He longed to see those that she had written
To the senders of these treasured notes.
There were recipes, written on napkins,
Scrap paper and pages torn from calendars.

There were many that he would try,
To see if he could come close to matching her culinary skills.

To sit down to a meal of her ham pot pie
Would be almost like having her back.

And then, there was stuff:
Some obviously meaningful…some mysterious.

There were pretty leaves and flowers pressed in wax paper.
She loved nature and all its beauty.

If my guess is right,
The pocket knife was her father’s.

Where in hell did she ever get that golden rooster,
And why in hell did she save it?

A lock of hair and a baby blanket;
Whose were they?

Surely the contents of her life box
Would reveal much about her life,
While providing more questions than answers.

Her stories, her thoughts, her feelings
Could have added meaning to the contents of the box.

The box was missing her voice;
He wished that she had written more.

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