Mary Learns to Live with Less – a poem by D. Walsh Gilbert

Mary Learns to Live with Less

Trinkets boxed into the attic:
keepsakes, knick-knacks, tokens

guarded through generations,
whether bauble or heirloom,

now withdrawn—seen only in memories.
There isn’t room for trivialities

in a single studio with bedrails.
She’s promised they’re not ruined.

What we can’t see isn’t
always gone. Packed for safe-

keeping. Or, finding a new home
with prairie children or at pacific shores,

ready for what comes next, 
to retell what’s been born before
to ones who are still learning,
who have forgotten, or never knew.

Let’s call it legacy. Let’s call
it inheritance—what’s been left

by the primal crone, the midwife
of the message found in the crocus

breaking through brown grass, 
a dispatch from the root of things,

the one who knows that sharing
wisdom burgeons in the empty field.

D. Walsh Gilbert is the author of Ransom (Grayson Books) and forthcoming, Once the Earth had Two Moons (Cerasus Poetry). Her work has recently appeared in The Lumiere Review, Black Fox Literary Magazine,and the anthology, Waking Up to the Earth, among others. She serves with the non-profit, Riverwood Poetry Series, and as co-editor of Connecticut River Review.  

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