14 April 2015

The Hope Chest

"My mother owned a long narrow cedar trunk that looked to me, when I was a little girl, like a coffin. It was at the end of her bed and my mother would pile quilts on the coffin, covering its surface. If the quilts were spread over a bed, I would see that the wood was carved with flowered panels. Among these flowers sat a small copper lock, cool as a wasp, securing my mother’s box from the destructive forces of curious children like me.
Eventually, I found a way to break into the trunk, but when I saw the contents, I couldn’t understand why my mother had locked it to begin with. It was filled with the most mundane things imaginable: A stack of white embroidered napkins, china cups and plates with silver at the edges, a cut crystal candy bowl, an album that contained mementos of me, my sister, and my brother: locks of hair, scraps of baby blankets, inked baby footprints. The air was musty inside the trunk, as if I’d entered the closed darkness of a cellar. I’d expected to find bars of gold bullion, jeweled cups, or at least a birthday present hidden among the tissue paper."
True Romantic #5: The Hope Chest

No comments:

Post a Comment