Join the Neopoet online poetry workshop and community to improve as a writer, meet fellow poets, and showcase your work. Sign up, submit your poetry, and get started.

The Archaeologist

Our parent’s divorce was bitter
We were so young then
It left scars; some seem small now,
but they bled fear, unhappiness, and uncertainty at the time

Other injuries were deeper, and left marks that echo
through all of their children to this day
The times I recall our parents being happy together
are shrouded in the mists of fading memories now

Going through my mother’s things after she passed,
the saddest of all archaeology tasks,
I found an old leather purse, and a photo of them
when they were good for each other

She was holding the same purse
in the blurred black and white photo,
her life just beginning,
the sun on their faces, all things bright and yet to be;
my parents together, smiling and holding each other tightly

She held on to the faded leather purse
for some sixty years or so, through so many moves
Maybe she thought the keepsake would help her heal in some way?

It must have taken her some time to mend her wounds,
if she was ever able to
Bandages are not just physical things

Review Request (Intensity): 
I appreciate moderate constructive criticism
Review Request (Direction): 
How was my language use?
What did you think of the rhythm or pattern or pacing?
How does this theme appeal to you?
Last few words: 
This one is pretty raw, and came to me unexpectedly and quite quickly, along with previous visits from my old acquaintance, Grief, who has no sense of timing. Sometimes ya' just gotta get stuff out there. Part of the healing process, I guess, of which there is no instruction manual, as most of us know from experience. I go through a box of my mother's things occasionally when I feel strong enough to do it (she was the family archivist, so there is so much to go through still). Sometimes I smile, and other times...
Editing stage: 
Content level: 
Not Explicit Content

Comments

There it is again T, thank you! A poem within my poem! I thought this was probably very relatable to many, and oddly enough it was one of the easiest writes for me in some time.

Best

Michael Anthony

author comment

nor are pats on the back.
However we cut it we are here now so we were loved enough.
Once again Michael the relativity in your poem stands out..
So many kindred spirits in this Neopoet family.

Joy and Peace,

THE MARK
.
If you take the time to read a poem then take the time to let the author know you were there. Study it and form an opinion as well, even if it means going back to it more than once. That is basic critique, what Neopoet is all about.

Too true Mark. Thanks for the read and your time. Will be joining you folks in the chat room soon!

Best

Michael Anthony

author comment

any better than Mark has. I tried, but wound up erasing the long drawn out rambling discourse; just to say, I feel all the pain and hurt, but also the joy of thinking that there were bright, happy spots and things worth remembering. Thank you for the emotional roller coaster that you sent me on. ~ Geez.
.

Comments and critique are vital to this site!
Even if you just say: I liked this story or your spelling
of a word is wrong, take the time to write a line or two
and comment. Your fellow poets will thank you!
.

Thank you Geez! I always appreciate you sharing your thoughts. As I revisit this piece, I think there was a missed opportunity here. I had actually found the picture in the purse, which is what hit me hard at the time; knowing she had been there before me, thinking about her past, no doubt. Don't think I made it very clear in the poem, so a future edit is likely.

Best

Michael Anthony

author comment

it was clear. I have some pictures of my mother and father before they were divorced and they were both smiling and happy, not a fake smile, but a genuine sparkle. My mother has given me many photos that she had kept and when I pass, I will leave them to my children. A tip to all... When you take photos, leave remarks on them or with them as the case may be. In this day and age, not many tangible photos. ~ Geez.
.

Comments and critique are vital to this site!
Even if you just say: I liked this story or your spelling
of a word is wrong, take the time to write a line or two
and comment. Your fellow poets will thank you!
.

Hello, Michael,
To begin, your title is so profound - exactly how it feels to dig through our parents' belongings, revisit their history, remember the moments in a family. I was so touched by your reflection of your mother's purse. I, too, found a few items from my mother's younger years that would have meaning that only she would know, and I could only imagine. Precious. As we get older, we understand somewhat of the joys and sufferings our parents may have felt. You have written a tender poem. I hope it brings a bit of peace to you.
Thank you,
L

Thank you L! This was a very personal write for me, but it came relatively easy compared to other works, which surprised me a bit. Your thoughtful comments are very insightful and resonate with me - be well.

Best

Michael Anthony

author comment

Those old faded photos are indeed our way of traveling into the past. Our parents and grandparents WERE once young and they Did have a life outside our own. I even get a hint of past lives lived whenever I come across an old abandoned fence or stone arrowhead. I reckon you have figured out I like your poem lol. But I'll not give any suggestions for change due to the emotions obviously attached to this write. you want to improve it? That will be a job left up to You

and in it are her most precious pictures. Well lol you could guess that we all would like to have it, so someday, who will end up with it lol
Later,

THE MARK
.
If you take the time to read a poem then take the time to let the author know you were there. Study it and form an opinion as well, even if it means going back to it more than once. That is basic critique, what Neopoet is all about.

(c) Neopoet.com. No copyright is claimed by Neopoet to original member content.