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  • madeleinedejean


I open this drawer at least five times a day: for this fork, for that spoon – no, this one.  And when I open, and when I close, there it is…a glimpse, and then it’s shut back in the dark with ordinary spoons and forks and knives and wine openers and.. and ..and.  And I know this:  it, the ordinary box, is there and safe inside the dark drawer.

But where are you, oh, my child? More precious, you; the giver of this object.

I open the drawer and take it out. An ordinary box, but no longer so when you, my child, gave it, gave this it, to me.

Elevated, you made it; unique with colored lines and my name.

And in it I keep many precious souvenirs.  My fingers glide over the colorful Murano glass ducks on picks for olives and such, given on a sparkly day when you, my child, were five, with stars in your eyes.  We had decided that day to go to see the fire and ice on the island of Murano.  How excited you were as you stepped into the swaying gondola, helped by a smiling gondolier.  You chose to wear your favorite dress, white linen filled with painted apples, green apples. And when you stepped into the gondola and the breeze blew your skirts they shimmered in glints from water of the same green.  It was a sparkly green apply sweet morning to go sailing in Venice.  We sailed you, my child, up to the open arms of Signore Seguso. These little glass ducks were his gift to you, my child.  And here I keep them in this ordinary box made extraordinary by you, my child.

My fingers touch other treasures kept in this ordinary extraordinary box: I finger the tiny bumps on miniature ears of corn with picks affixed for holding summer corn.  And my inner eye returns the sight of your delight and hear it in a chortle in your voice, my child, when I first showed you how to hold the beautiful buttery, but hot, summer ears of corn.  And here they are, tiny ears of corn, nestled next to shining, quacking glass ducks in this this ordinary, unordinary box, made so dear.

My finger gets entangled in something, and I pull. A blue silk hair-ribbon you, my child, often brought and asked me to tie in your hair, your hair as silky.  I feel it in my fingers along with the ribbon.  But I open my eyes; your hair is not there.  I put the ribbon back into the ordinary box. And close the lid.

I hold it close: you, ordinary box.

Then put it back in the drawer. Safe there in the darkness.

But, oh my child: where are you?  Are you safe?

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