Thursday, March 24, 2011

Junk Drawer

The skeleton key reaches back
deeper than childhood. it once unlocked
memories to come: the grist and

rhyme of sacred words recited 
largely by rote on grandmother's 
ample lap, the vast yard where

cousins played then dutifully
heeded the dinner bell, the drawer
of old keys, rubber bands, talcum,

the rosary from Rome wearied
by Hail Mary's through the war and
then the years of change. A vial of

holy water dabbed as perfume
when making the sign of the cross.
A deck of cards and the leather

dice cup. The dice themselves are cast
in perfect calculus. There are
pieces of life that fit nowhere else.

—Martin A. Bartels

1 comment:

  1. Growing up I was always fascinated by skeleton keys, objects that even in my youth were becoming obsolete. Somehow a jumble of images related to the skeleton keys of my youth added up to my grandparents' home at Addolorata Villa in Wheeling, Illinois, basically a Catholic retirement home in the 1960s & '70s.