• Laura

The Antique Store

I walked into an antique store on Friday, spent an hour

sorting through the remnants of other people's lives,

the pieces someone else thought were worth saving.

Hundreds of records, bowls full of buttons, stacks of McCall’s dress patterns

A Five Year Diary caught my eye, 1946 to 1950.

I struggled to read the handwriting so I left it on display.

I haven’t stopped thinking about it since I drove away.

The Original Tinkertoy, vintage Scrabble boards, buckets of wooden blocks

25+ vintage photographs in a clear plastic bag, only $11.

Did the last of the family line die out or did the descendants

not want to sort through images of relatives they never knew?

Wooden rolling pins, Brownie cameras, Pyrex dishes

Jewelry lines one wall, shiny gold, ruby reds, brilliant blues

I wonder if it remembers being held up against outfits,

selected for date night, a dinner party, a church event;

now it waits to be conscripted into a new jewelry box.

Candlesticks, silver teapots, silverware no longer in sets

A stack of china; did a long-ago bride pick this out for her wedding day?

Did she stroll through a now-defunct department store to make her choices?

How many meals did her family eat from these dishes before they came here,

on display once again, waiting to be chosen; a reprise of sorts.

Brass figurines–a set of three swans, an elephant, two apples, and a goose

Fragments of hundreds of lives

biding their time until they are

woven into a new story.

A blue and white vase, that comes to $10.73

I couldn’t stop thinking about

the memory book, the photographs.

I went back on Saturday morning;

$22.52 seemed like a small price to pay

to give these stories another chance.

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