Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts
Blue Mountain Arts

Poetry Contest Winners :: Third Contest :: Second Place Winner

The Box

by Amanda Hale

I packed my youth in a box today.
And stored it in the attic.

I had to smile
As I watched years of memories
Replay themselves in my mind.

The first note ever written to me by a boy.
It was there.
"Will you go out with me? Yes or No?
Circle one," the hastily scribbled
instructions read.
The answer was yes.

My hospital bracelet from my six-day stay during middle school.
It was there.
My twelve-year-old self danced before my eyes, so frail and scared.
Taken in for appendicitis,
Then told the problem went deeper.
"Am I going to die?" I had asked, in all my childlike innocence.
The answer was no.

A picture taken with the first boy I ever loved.
It was there.
I remember that moment!
Frozen in time.
Love discovered, so exciting and new.
I gave him the key to my heart
and he took it with him.
The day he left for the United States Marine Corps.
"Will I ever get it back?" I wondered.
The answer was yes.

The bouquet I caught at my sister's wedding, now worn and withered.
It was there.
The sweetness and excitement
of catching my big sister's bouquet came back to me.
I watched her walk down the aisle that day
As I had watched her take so many steps before.
Clearing a path for her little sister, as always!
Only this time was different.
This time.
She wouldn't be coming back home.
She was his, and he was hers
And love was all they knew.
Seeing the way this man put a light in my sister's eyes
that I had never seen there before,
I thought, "Will my eyes ever light up like that,
At the mere sight of another?"
The jury's still out!

I packed my youth in a box today.
And stored it in the attic.

I am moving ahead
Into my future
And not looking back.
To a place where the answers are still unclear,
Where numerous joys and sorrows have yet to be discovered.

And where the box is still empty.

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