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Family Heirlooms

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Below is the poem entitled Family Heirlooms which was written by poet James Tate. Please feel free to comment on this poem. However, please remember, PoetrySoup is a place of encouragement and growth.

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Family Heirlooms



Family heirlooms

Some collect old art pieces, jewelry or photos.
Others, end tables, organ benches, or beds
If it belonged to Grandma or Grandpa it’s a keeper.
Especially fancy needlework and piecework spreads.

And if it belonged to way-back generations,
Better hide it from inquiring siblings.
Like an antique trunk full of precious junk,
Be ready for some serious quibbling.

An agate marble with variegated colors,
A bone handled knife with Grandpa’s carved notch,
Grandma’s wedding ring many memories bring,
As does Uncle Henry’s gold pocket watch.

Many collectibles and few places to keep them.
We hold on tightly like a determined fanatic.
If embedded memories bring such pleasure to treasures
Why do they inevitably drift to the garage or attic?


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  1. Date: 8/12/2012 12:23:00 AM

    I really like your style. this is just great. Heirlooms make a good topic. And thanks for your comments to me today.

  1. Date: 8/10/2012 8:49:00 PM

    A very good point. Clearing out Mom and Dad's place I've found many treasures that Mom hid back...wrapped in tissue paper. Many things I have never seen...treasures unearthed not only in hand, but in memories as well. I like your poem...well done !!