A shell, a piece of bone, a tumbleweed,
some driftwood, Indian beads, a little stone…
these things hold memories, and how I need
them. Grandchildren learned names of shells with speed
from my collection. Don’t forget pinecone
to add to shell and bone and tumbleweed.
My mother cooked Thanksgiving once to feed
us in the pinewoods. Warm that year, sun shone.
These things hold memories. O, how I need
remembrance of the driftwood she would plead
with us to bring up from the beach. Windblown,
a shell, a piece of bone, a tumbleweed
arrived onshore. And then we would impede
their further travels, as our mom was prone
to loving things of nature. They, her need,
defined her as might the Apostles’ Creed.
Each lovely signature stood all alone
in her home, shell and bone and tumbleweed.
I understand the memories I need.