Monday, November 26, 2012

26/30 PAD challenge collections

Collecting Collections


It seems I don’t have the attention span

to stick to one collection throughout my lifetime.

When I was a child I collected boxes—

little boxes. They made good spy radios.

It got me in trouble when I claimed

my oldest sister’s engagement ring box.


Next, I collected colorful glass bottles

not just any bottle, the daintier the better.

In my teens as I traveled more, pennants—

pennants from all along the east coast

from north to south, except Maine,

and western ones from a Wyoming trip.


Then there’s the walking sticks—

shiny gnarled ones, ones with places

inscribed such as Yellowstone National Park.

Now, I collect sample copies of magazines

my work appears in. I need to get a bigger drawer,

a good problem to have. 


When more money came into the picture,

I collected books. Used to be, I couldn’t

imagine owning a book and not reading it,

but now I own hundreds I haven’t read yet.

Many of the books I have now are authored

by my friends and partially by me.


My favorite collection is my Christmas tree ornaments.

At least one a year: the crab claw poinsettia from

Louisiana, the painted gourd from Sedona,

the bagpipe player from Scotland,

a mouse in a matchbox—baby’s first Christmas

 among all the crudely made ones

by my kids when they were little.


What is the reasoning behind collections?

What makes a bunch of them better than one?

How many walking sticks does a person need?

Maybe I’m collection memories, hanging onto

a part of this life before it disappears, and

leaving something behind for my kids

to sort through reminding them of me.

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