Sunday, December 7, 2008

what's at the top

i search through a mass of entangled chains and charms
knotted with an earring or two
my jewelry box is a jack-n-box
full of hand me downs and beaded beings
nothing is worth anything except for the tiffany bracelet and necklace bearing a cross
i was given them in september by my three god sons and their parents
i keep them separate
i don't wear the crucifix though i did try it out for a day when i went to pennsylvania to register voters
i thought it might be a sign of peace or neutrality
don't mind my yellow polka dot sweater, designer jeans and hippie hair
i am a catholic, see?
i untangle a couple more necklaces
two are ornamental stones from new zealand
jade to be exact
one is a piece i wore everyday for many many months
and now i look at it as a rare and precious relic
a piece of tombstone for a former self
one that felt a connection with new zealand or at least a curiosity
and now sees it no more than a place i once visited
a place it may be hard to return to
which makes the journey there precious and a stone
i come across a religious necklace and bracelet given by my grandmother
it is a prayer necklace though not a rosary
i know i wore them once but i can't remember when or what for
and then i come to the toughest of knots
a broken chain and locket given to me by my mother
she had engraved 2003 on it for my graduation from college
and on the other side she had put "LDA"
she is the only person in the world who still references my long forgotten middle name
i try hard to untangle this web and everything i do makes it worse
i find another necklace
another heart
given to me by her, but this one i have never even taken off the piece of plastic it is fastened to
i don't know why i keep these pieces
when i touch them i feel sad, guilty
but i know i will never wear them
my mother had wanted to come to my college graduation and i had told her no
she had not been a part of the struggle to get their
she did not deserve to relish in the hour of my spotlight
i am reminded of my sixth grade graduation when i had asked her not to come
she showed up and i ran inside my classroom hysterical until mr. molina came in and talked me back out to rejoin the class
she was gone
and again my eighth grade graduation
there was a rumor that she stood in the back of the church and watched me receive my creative writing award
we weren't even talking at that point
my high school graduation she came as an invited guest
and a friend i had since i was twelve met her for the very first time
she was last friend to meet her
i don't even have that friend anymore
i undo the knots and i bury the locket and the other heart necklace underneath some cheap beaded ones because i can't stand to look at them anymore
earlier today i had mentioned that i needed a bigger jewelry box but now i am reminded why i keep a small one
you can only see whats at the top.

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