Friday, June 14, 2024



Greeting cards and sentiments

handwritten and signed by those

once children, others now long

gone – letters still somehow un-

yellowed folded pieces of lined

school paper filled with love and

song lyrics passed in the hallway

by a sweaty palm of a lovely boy

eager to move from friend to some

things – these things – photographs

catalogued one winter when dread

assailed and thoughts of a looming

horizon motivated legacy leaving –

ahh the files, the files, manilla tabbed

and computer coded – filled with words

words, words, research, reflection, books

written and in halted progress a pilgrimage

of poems – trapped as data – some escaped

into volumes, stray pieces of printed paper,

handwritten scratches , oh the binders of 

would be novels, that would not breathe, 

and the paraphernalia, jewelry, a diamond

ring of promises made and broken another

of promises kept and delivered evermore,

my mother’s father’s tiny police shield 

mounted on a gold disk that my mother 

wore every day, I broke the chain, 

forget the jewelry, lovely in their own

right but not keepsakes, not worth

reciting gemstones and turquoise,

the baby ring I wore in kindergarten 

chewed through somehow, the 

charm bracelet of childhood, jangling

with small tokens, a parakeet, a bicycle, 

a typewriter, even then…

on and on the things, the things, when a super

storm hit – I packed a plastic container with all

considered vital.. it is in the bottom of a bedroom

closet – I’d leave it now if rains fell..books written

have been writ, poems published have been read, 

jewlery mere stones, sentiments remembered, 

no need to gaze upon handwritings, of children now

no longer adoring nor parents and grandparents whose

adoration remains without a card .. perhaps my grandmother’s

letter where she thanked me for being a wonderful granddaughter

a year or two after my father’s death, or my father’s letter, written

at twenty before heart surgery he did not expect to come through…

maybe, maybe not. What is truly a treasure, tangible and precious- 

a notecard from my analyst and mentor an almost magical woman

who lived in a house with a white arbor lush with pink roses, a sitting

room of chintz and the kindest, wisest eyes ever to look upon me, perhaps, 

her note card – saying that something about her feeling for me, perhaps not – 

Most definitely the wedding bands upon my hands -  if not worn they would certainly be in a 

treasure box, the “wow” one on the occasion of our twenty-fifth when things were good shining 

with my husband’s obvious usually completely unstated pride, the simple gold band, we 

married in, yes these, yes these and the half cut glass bowl that sat on my grandmother’s 

table – that crashed to the floor several years ago … half shattered… a large semi circle 

remaining…still holding in the prism of rainbow reflections the love of a life-time

the rings, and the the broken bowl my legacy, my treasure.  I think of tossing all else and it 

brings me joy and clarity as does the peace that I need not do anything. I know if a storm were 

to come or I simply heeded the call to go… 

I would check my fingers for my rings, wrap the sharp edges of the shimmering remnants of 

my grandmother's cut glass bowl in a piece of her worn soft rose quilted coverlet and walk out 

through the door 



  1. Pearl, I am loving your poems these days. I feel the same way, we spend so many years gathering, then more years letting go, till, at the end, we might pick up one thing to take with us. Smiles. My one regret is I didnt save all those years of letters that I would love to read now, to remember times I have forgotten. I also didnt journal and I know I should have. But oh, memory is still rich, and we have been truly blessed in our lives, you and I. Thanks for this glorious poem.

    1. Aww thank you Sherry.. I'm finding that I'm writing much more personally these days and I love the prompts on the site as I love all of you!

  2. Your words in the poem are absolute treasures Pearl. So heartfelt words and the feeling dwelling in the word 'Unencumbered' is majestic.

    1. Oh Sumana majestic?! That's quite a word! Thank you so very much. I'm delighted you enjoyed!

  3. So true.. in the end only a few things truly matter and with them we can walk away, unencumbered. Well said!

    1. Isn't it Rajani... I used to find that there was such power and sentimentality in the things .. now it seems that it would be so much easier to simply walk away unencumbered.. Thank you!

  4. Wow, Pearl, you have saved much in this very poem! I think my favorite is:
    "on and on the things, the things, when a super
    storm hit – I packed a plastic container with all
    considered vital.. it is in the bottom of a bedroom
    closet – I’d leave it now if rains fell."
    but I love all of it, and identify, especially with the savings of a career in education and the letters. I have downsized into three rooms, but still have the boxes of journals and letters! A mesmerizing poem.

    1. Yes, Susan the papers and letters are most to difficult to let go .. this was a cleansing poem to write.. I'm delighted you enjoyed and so very much appreciate the "Wow" and "mesmerizing!" Thank you so very much.

  5. An exquisite heartfelt poem! I loved reading about all of your treasures. Such a lot of history. Such a lot of feeling!! So many wonderful things remembered!

    1. Oh Mary thank you! Exquisite?!! Wow... I am so thrilled that you enjoyed! I do love this group and always find the prompts bring me to personal depths.

  6. Like Leonard Cohen's "the crack in everything" being how the light gets in.

  7. Awww thank you! One of my favorite quotes!!!

  8. The broken small things can hold the most light. I'm surrounded by things, yet the value is in the joy and memories of them I can carry without boxes.