She kept her life in a box

By RR Ewart

She kept her life in a box always close by.
Her memories and useful things sleeping together 
Under a cardboard lid.
When she was young, the box lived under her bed
Away from the prying eyes of parents and siblings.
Back then it was filled with colorful marbles,
Her favorite wooden pony with painted gold hair,
And the tooth she had lost on the playground at school
That the tooth fairy could not have.

As she got older, the things in the box changed.
A photo of her with her friends,
A dried up flower from the boy who sat behind her in class,
The lipstick she snuck from her mother’s bathroom drawer.

There was a time when she forgot about the box.
Still sitting under her bed waiting for her to come back.
Her mother asked her to clean out her old things and take what
She wanted to keep.
That was when she found the box the top covered with dust
And she remembered the things she had forgotten. 
She did not show it to anyone, just added it to the pile
Of stuff in the back of her car, and drove away with it tucked
Safely on the seat. 

Now the box is old with wrinkles around the corners
And frayed edges.
It lives prominently on a shelf in her sitting room.
It is full of photos of her children, husband and grandchildren.
It contains letters from cherished friends and seashells from past vacations.
She keeps a deck of cards and a small roll of betting money
On top of a Fleetwood Mac CD that she sings along with on Sunday mornings.

Her life is in that box.
Always close by.
Her memories and useful things sleeping together 
Under a cardboard lid.

RR Ewart (she/her) is a writer and artist from Reno, Nevada. She works as a high school English teacher, is an accomplished book-hoarder, and a recovering procrastinator. She is completing her first novel and chapbook publication. Follow her to read more of her work on Instagram.

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