Then we collected odd labels from
cheap wine, not yet having developed
a palate. Soaked and scraped, then
laid to rest in photo albums, the kind
with sticky pages and acetate covers.
You always collected watches, pocket,
wrist, forgotten family treasures. Never
expensive, just ones with a story, or
just to keep time.
I always collected rocks, especially
the sparkly ones. Rose quartz, purple
amethyst. As a child I didn’t know
they had meanings. I now understand
stones tell stories, like books.
Can we count books, too? Many
collections have come and gone.
Some come again in realization
that one should never get rid of books.
Art became a passion. Still would be,
if wall space and bank notes agreed.
But dime store prints display as
much joy when the eye is well pleased.
As time moved with suns rising
and moons falling, telescopes, six
of them, most hand made, took up
residence under our roof beneath
city skies with too much light and
eyes no longer keen.
Oh, there were caps and hats like
your father used to wear. Pens to
write with, flowers to bloom, recorders
and flutes to serenade. Maybe,
someday, ukuleles, too.
But the sweetest collection we
ever gathered took hardly no
time at all. It was simple and
easy, my heart collected next
to yours. Happy birthday.
Happy birthday, Leroy.