We climbed down shaky steps with utmost care
to beach that partied with all kinds of stones
and driftwood, pebbles, beach glass, old fish bones,
began collecting agates we would share.
To stand there felt much like a bouncy bog,
so crowded were the rocks and stones. I looked
straight down, left, right. All over, nothing brooked
enthusiasm for this place where fog
that morning burned off, leaving riches — just
for me? My pockets billowed with the green,
pink, clear white agates that I found. This scene
of nature’s treasures? Visit it. You must.
I saw it there upon their master bedroom table,
a box containing memories, as it was able,
of its creator’s ancestors’ activities.
Rich wood, glass-fronted, opened with two tiny keys,
it held a great-grandfather’s silver spectacles,
a delicate lace handkerchief, a thimble, wools
extracted from the sheep on old farm hills. A coin
with foreign markings, plain gold wedding band here join
in sweet remembrance. Who, I wonder, held that fan
with painted Asian decoration? And what man
owned carved old pocket watch upon its fob? A piece
of catgut overlaid it all. Did someone’s niece
play violin? A silhouette, a cameo,
an infant’s little spoon, slim needles used to sew,
a yellowed photograph diminutive in size–
all sentimental keepsakes, each somebody’s prize.