Memory triggers

This poem was inspired by an image that came to me of someone opening an old cupboard and seeing a blue jacket. In writing the poem I put myself in that person’s shoes.

A “manrobe” is a half-height wardrobe with a small set of drawers, which were very popular through the first half of the 20th Century.

Thoughts of you
I finally cleared a path
to the back of the store room.
The old oak manrobe
was right where we had left it.

I opened the drawers first,
there was nothing much in
any of them,
except newspapers
now yellowed and crisp
with age.
Reading them sent
me down memory lane,
to a time when milk was
a dollar.

The key was still in the door,
brass hinges as
tarnished as when your eyes
last saw them.
There was a single hanger
on the rail.
An old blazer clung to it
in suspended animation.
I held one of the sleeves
in my hand and breathed in.

It smelt of dust and
stale moth eggs:
not how I remembered you.
shoulders back
proud of the new blue jacket
as my youthful hand
held the camera
and captured the moment

Such a long time ago now,
a lifetime of years.

The dusty fabric in my hands
My thoughts are lost
in a maze of memory lanes.
Photo by Francisco Sanchez on

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