my ex once asked me why i kept it,
that brown box in my closet,
worn at the corners
i showed them my great grandpa’s writing
inside the lid, the dates and scores of
cribbage games long gone
and i showed them
the slight bend in the deck
from where he’d shuffled them
time and time again in my great aunt’s kitchen

and they asked me why i kept it
a recipe book for birdseed
and i showed them my great grandpa’s name
on the cover, the first thing he ever published,
and how there’s a stain on the fifth page
from when i tried one of his recipes

and they asked me why i kept it,
a statue smaller than my thumb,
and i told them how it’d sat
on my great grandmother’s nightstand
watching over her every night

and they asked me why i kept it,
a chunk of snowflake obsidian
with a thousand sharp edges
and i balanced it in the palm of my hand
as i told them of how my grandfather and i
dug it up in woods outside his cabin,
a piece of memory of a volcano long dormant

and they asked me why i kept it,
a wooden cat figure painted green, pink, and blue
and i told them of how my friend in college
gave it to me on a sunlit porch
to guide me through healing my body
and my mind as i cried

and they asked me why i kept
so many things, these trinkets
on my bookshelves and windowsills,
tiny red elephants that my father bought me
at a flea market when i was in elementary school,
glass jars my friend gave me as a housewarming present
when i moved into my apartment with nothing,
the fake tree next to my couch that my best friend
showed up with one night at 11 pm
and i told them
because they were all poems


NaPoWriMo Day 12: Today, we’d like to challenge you to write a poem about a dull thing that you own, and why (and how) you love it. Alternatively, what would it mean to you to give away or destroy a significant object?

I think I may come back and add more objects, memories, and poems to this later.


2 thoughts on “when i tried minimalism (and why it didn’t work for me)

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