NaPoWriMo – Poem #2

The dusty glass box
encases a fragile yellow rose.
Dried, curled, and browning with age –
frozen in time.
One turn of the small metal loop
pressed against the base
reveals the difficult strains,
a bittersweet, old tune.

Music pulls forth memories
an awkward fifteen year old girl,
singing in unison with classmates.
Bouncing over dips and bumps in the road
from the back of a darkened school bus.
Laughter frames the memory.
Young girls floating above
green plastic seats as the bumps
launch them higher and higher
into the air. Landing hard.
Painful jolts that run up the spine.
They laughed anyway.

A gentle click,
the music stops and the memory
fades.

An odd little trinket,
a birthday gift from my grandparents,
given years after the memory it evokes.
The crinkled golden lettering proclaiming
“Happy Golden Birthday”
has grown fragile and I wonder if a fingernail
might scrape it away.

I turn to my partner.
“Am I a bad granddaughter if I decide to give this away?”
He looks at the glass –
not unlike the magical rose
from the Beauty and the Beast
stories – and shrugs.
“I don’t know. I don’t have a hard time letting things go.”

He hasn’t answered the question,
at least not the one I asked.
I stare through the grime at the rose,
play the music once more.
It isn’t a useful item.
Not one that is visited often.
Yet, its creation was well thought out.
A gift given with love and planning.
Still…its memories remain on a neglected shelf,
heavy with the dust of time passing.

I do have a hard time letting things go.
They are not simply things.
They are memory capsules.
Perhaps forgotten, but memories all the same.
Yet, shouldn’t we let go of old memories to make
room for new ones?
When do memories trap us and prevent
us from moving forward?

Too often,
I hold on too tightly,
for too long.

Placing the old gift into a box marked for Goodwill,
I trace the golden words,
hum the old tune to myself,
and leave this memory behind.

NaPoWriMo – Poem #1

And the record skips.

Angry words spew forth from your bitter tongue.
I feel as if we’ve played this tune before.
Dropped a dirty quarter in the jukebox,
pressed the button for a tender love song –
yet somehow ended up with death metal hate.

You rail at me like that angry German man
from a band I don’t understand, but you enjoy.
The verse is altered, but the refrain is the same.
I can’t help but wonder if we will ever make it
beyond the middle of this album.

The first song is beautiful, kind and full of love.
The second song is patient and understanding,
but a little unsure. The third song is strained,
falling a bit off key. The fourth is where it ends.

And the record skips.
The kindness breaks, the soft words turn hard.
The lyrics jumble as the needle scrapes and jumps tracks.

The album begins again.
Each time around the needle makes more scratches.
Irreversible damage to songs that once were beautiful.
Now, garbled and unclear. I can’t help but wonder,
when will your anger make our album
too broken to play?

Put another quarter in, the needle drops.