There is a black box on my basement floor.
It is full of pretty things.
As a girl, I kept it in my room
atop my bureau
and filled it with all the lovely tokens I collected
from a lovely life.
As I grew older
the box grew too,
and I carried it with me from place to place,
and within it I placed
and my love and my children
and all their lovely things
until it swelled.
One day, when I was no longer young
and no longer lovely,
I carried it into my basement
and placed it in a corner
on the floor.
And my black box sprouted roots,
cracking the foundation
and reaching down into the earth
and through the earth
to a black and bitter place.
When the flood waters came and destroyed all else,
my black box remained anchored.
And, now that the waters have receded, I see
that all but it have been swept away.
I regard my box in the corner,
but I shall not open it,
for within is a hole that reaches into an eternity of lovely things
that no longer are
and the torment of memories
of lovely places
that no longer exist.