12 June 2024

Treasure, Keepsakes, and Time Travel



A chain of lilac buds and two smooth stones
hide in mulch under the azalea bush.
The lilacs fade and the chain melts away
but the stones seem smoother day after day.
Years later and the stones join dried rose buds
and crystals of clear quartz and amethyst
on a crochet-edged doily that Mom made
for the desk with a lamp and tasseled shade.
Later still, stones and dried buds multiplied
and tarot cards, feathers, and candles filled
a bookcase shelf under photographs and
bowls full of seashells, sea glass, and white sand.
Those sweet nature-filled days of youth ended,
and nothing since has been so well tended
as the China cabinet shelves with no
China, only birds, hearts, and globes with snow.
(As I recall images for this poem,
I realize this now of sadness and joy
spent in memory is more precious than
any of the things I recall.  Yes, and
time travel is more precious than this now—
except that now holds the marvel of time
spent then and now, entwined.   Let’s then adore
keepsakes that function to open time's door.)

For my prompt "Keepsakes and Treasure Chests" at What's Going On?

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.
© 2024 Susan L. Chast


  1. keepsakes that open time's door... absolutely! My favourites from all the clutter around me that I can't bear to throw away are an old horseshoe and a stack of cookie tins from faraway places!

  2. Indeed - Keepsakes are really important as the backdrop of one's life. Sometimes the most valuable are the simple treasures collected over the years, and always available to provide memories! Loved your last stanza!

  3. Keepsakes are full of fond memories of people and places. They do indeed open time's door. "...crystals of clear quartz and amethyst / on a crochet-edged doily that Mom made" What a treasure this is!

  4. I am glad you have treasures to remember the past with - they are precious - Jae

  5. "Keepsakes that function to open time's door" is such a wonderful line, and thought. Amazing how memories flood back, when we look at our keepsakes. Wonderful, Susan. I love the recognition that Now holds then and now entwined.

  6. keepsakes memories enablers of time travel....our past on a shelf...Rall

  7. Unlike some things, stones do get smoother with age. Like the lake glass that people search for and collect and horde, shards of glass as smooth as ivory.

  8. I'm for it. Keepsakes really are a door to another time and perhaps, another way of existing in the world. I often think I would love to visit past times in my life for a moment or a day, but when it comes to staying, I'm good right where I am. Love your poem!

  9. Oh yes! That's it isn't it? Keepsakes 'open time's door." Lovely!

  10. Keepsakes are definitely keys to opening doors of the past. It is a bit like being a time traveler from your favorite chair. Beautiful writing


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