Monday, July 7, 2014

Treasure Found, Forgotten


Today I found a treasure
It was not marked with an “X”
Or bound with some great lock
It was not protected with ancient curses
Or guarded by a fierce dragon
It was merely an old shoe box
High on a shelf
Covered in dust
And marked “please forget”
Inside the battered cardboard
Were all your old letters
The paper yellow and faded

I smiled a little
At the thoughts they evoked
And the memory of leaving that box
On that shelf
Eager to pretend that out of sight
Meant out of mind
The familiar scent of old paper
And the fading whiff of your old perfume
Curling into my nose
Entangling my senses
So I dumped the letters
Onto my bed
To read words I had thought forgotten

I carefully unfolded each letter in turn
Eyes scanning the precise scrawl
Reading lines from years ago
Some words delicately scripted
Others scrawled sloppily in excitement
Or fear
Or hurt
With your name, always
Signed in red at the bottom
The letters on top
Were more white
Their paper less worn
The ink more bold

These letters spoke of sadness and loss
Of differences and chasms between
Of the pain of young love
Faded to apathy
And as I read letters deeper
In this tattered box
Scanning backwards through time
The words changed
Despair turned to passion
The expressions of love blazoned in fading black ink
The more worn the paper
The more beautiful the lines

Fading memories matched in time
Where the most painful
Were the most complete
And the beautiful moments
Were obscured and fading
As the last letter opened
It was sown with scattered tears
A wistful sad smile
Devoid of sadness 
Gracing my lips
At the thought of days gone by
Not times I would call better
But times when I felt
As if feeling was enough

Eyes and thoughts
Having wandered back in time
Grateful for the evoked emotion
I carefully folded each letter again
Placing them in the fragile box
Putting it back
High on some oft-forgotten shelf
To fade more with passing days
Until I am left less with memories
And left more with impressions of a treasured time
Which holds no sadness for having passed
But is more joyous for having been lived