The hinged lid, gilded with fluted edge,
a red velvet lining remembers traces
of its early flame. The mirror, aged
and wise still does not lie, Her mother’s face
is reflected in her smile.

An amethyst, an opal, a few pieces of gold,
solid, old, enduring, A strand of pearls,
demure as if brand new, Three baby bracelets,
the kind hospitals used to give, each with a name
embossed on beads of pink and white.

And so the ancient box reveals
the history of a wife who failed
and no matter all the good she’d done
He worked his farm
without a son.

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