Not long ago,
my father sold his summer home of thirty years.
The large, rambling seaside abode
witnessed fourth of July fireworks,
games of flashlight tag, barbecues and bonfires.
My father called to say five or six boxes
were headed my way.
You see, reader, I collect memories,
family moments documented
in sepia or engraved on old debate trophies.
When the boxes arrived,
I peeled open the cardboard shell
to reveal a lifetime’s worth of gold.
There is my great uncle Nate, 1942,
clad in WWII Marine khakis on Oahu just after Pearl Harbor,
the rifle in his hands
incongruent with the waving palm trees;
my young law clerk father, 1959,
beaming along side Chief Justice Earl Warren;
my mother, 1966, impossibly beautiful,
resting on Cape Cod’s sandy shore.
This summer, I will revisit each moment,
jotting notes for my son and future generations
before the images no longer represent reminiscence,
but rather hold strangers.
Memories are ephemeral.
We must capture them while we can.