Older Things

In honor of National Poetry Month, I shall be doing my poetry thing each Sunday in April. 

Older Things
Inspired by the poetry of Jim Harrison


I have of recent years fallen in love with older things:

A bicycle lock key in an old business card box.
Bobby Thomson’s Topp card folded and passed from wallet to wallet.
a Cracker Jack whistle carried on my keyring,
prized like an Olympic Gold Medal.
A poetry book on the window sill,
a laminated red maple leaf bookmarking Tennyson’s “Ulysses”.
Outside the sun. The birds chirp their spring songs.
On a bookshelf nearby my mother’s photograph.
I wish I had known my Mama better.

These are but a few of the older things
gathered in the graveyard of my memory,
a place where things go not to die,
exhibits in a Hall of Fame of Older Things.

I make my way through the exhibitions
like some gondolier along Venetian canals.
Here’s a small black rock a college friend gave to me.
She said it was a meteorite come roaring out of the sky.
I loved her. She had other plans
than marriage. It was the call of an explorer’s life.
In a beat-up wooden box somewhere in a closet
I have letters
she wrote me way back when she was in Antarctica.
Then, like some Michael Rockerfeller, lost in the wilds of the Amazon.
When I received the news, I was off to bed for a week.
Her life a piece of parchment shredded into tears.
She was a Cape of Good Hope,
a Shambhala, a nightingale garden.

The sun sets in the West as I stroll
through the Hanging Gardens of Babylon,

my mind wondering if Nebuchadnezzar was happy.
Did he walk through these same gardens and fall in love
with older things?

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7 thoughts on “Older Things

  1. It’s not the thing we hold in our hand or mind, but the memories they evoke that return us to another place, time, person. This is a very good, universal poem. We all have small things.

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