In my excavation for family history a few years ago, I landed on a handmade wooden recipe box. It belonged to my grandmother and the contents appear to be from a high school home economics class project.
I riffle through the index cards in search of something personal and find one thing non-recipe related. It’s a scrap of paper torn from a magazine printed with a poem titled “Old Love” by C. Underwood.
As silly as it sounds, I repeatedly read the poem, hoping for a message from beyond. A glimpse into who my grandmother was, this person I loved my entire life, but did not fully know. Who was she before I came along?
I’ll never know why this poem caught her attention, but it passed through her heart and then her hands into mine.
By C. Underwood
This has been a busy day
Cleaning out my heart;
So many trifles buried there
I found it hard to start.
First I blew the dream-dust off;
The place was thickly spread
With silver wings of lovely hours
That long ago lay dead:
Wishes, odd and out of date,
Plans, at least a score,
And here and there a tangled heap
Of worries on the floor.
Ruthlessly I brushed them out
Supposing I was through,
When suddenly I came upon
A little thought of you!
It was a wistful, tender thought.
I really didn’t dare.
I softly closed the crimson door
And left it hidden there.
This is the 23rd story in the Objects as Waypoints Writing Project series.