Just An Old Shoebox


It was just an old shoe box,
With a pink faded ribbon wrapped around.

*****
The old house was sad and sat strangely quiet,
Ever since Momma graced Heaven’s dawn.
It’s like she had just turned loose of living,
Dutifully to follow Dad on.

Brother and I had moved things for hours,
Loading boxes since early morning’s light.
It was then I noticed an old shoe box,
Tucked away snugly, almost out of sight.

Now that’s just great, more of Mom’s junk;
I’ll just toss it in the pile with the rest.
When it came to hoarding odds and ends,
The kids all knew Mom was world’s best.

I reached and took hold of that old shoe box;
It was on a shelf just about Mom’s height.
Wrapped around it was a pink faded ribbon,
With a small bow that Mom had tied tight.

I sat down, blew the dust from the top;
These words in a hand-drawn heart I read:
“My Little Box of Treasures”—“Odd,” I mused,
What’s inside? I questioned in my head.

I smiled as I opened that old shoe box,
For the very first thing I spied
Was a pair of slightly worn baby shoes,
With a scribbled note stuffed down inside.

I was surprised to see my name written
On that crinkled note so aged and worn;
It read: “His first pair of baby shoes,”
Mom had dated it the year I was born.

Next, I found an old sympathy card,
Taped to it, a tiny lock of blonde hair;
The card read: “We’re all sorry for your loss,
And will be keeping your folk in prayer.”

Then there were a couple of report cards,
Old photos and a dried up four-leaf clover,
A “Be My Valentine” and a note that said,
“I Luv You,” signed, “Your secret admirer.”

Then I came upon a love letter of Dad’s,
It was handwritten and penned in red;
I held it up so I could read it better,
And this is what it said:

Darling, you are my first true love,
And will always be my best friend;
Can’t wait to marry you, sweetheart,
This fall, after harvest time ends.

My brother had made his way to the place
Where I sat now crying on the floor,
Both of us amazed at the things Mom kept,
From our lives so many years before.

We laughed out loud, cried and reminisced
At the marvels that old shoe box concealed;
O’ so many things Mom had collected,
Precious memories to us were revealed.

Each had its own unique place in our hearts,
From trinkets to the golden lock.
They were trophies rediscovered by us,
Found that day in an old shoe box.

No, it wasn’t junk, as I had supposed,
But true treasures that money couldn’t buy.
Looking heavenward I said, “Thank you, Mom”
As more tears fell from my eyes.

Time had flown; it was getting dark;
The power had already been shut down.
We figured we’d better lock everything up,
Make our way back toward town.

I placed the lid back on that old shoe box,
Gently put the ribbon back in its place,
Took one more look, then locked the doors,
Said good-bye to our old home place.

My thoughts still racing, I jumped in the truck,
Brother and I, were both teary eyed.
I said, “Hold on, wait just a minute”
As I climbed quickly back outside.

There in the front yard was the “For Sale” sign
Brother and I had earlier put in place.
I yanked that sign up, threw it in the back
With teardrops streaming down my face.

We sat silent as we headed down the road,
A moment neither would soon forget;
For we both knew that we weren’t ready,
To live with one more regret.

As we drove down that familiar road,
The old home place now fading from view,
Strangely, our love for life and family
From that old shoe box had been renewed.

My eyes glanced down at the prize in my hands,
The best treasure I had ever found.
Then I smiled.
It was just an old shoe box,
With a pink faded ribbon wrapped around.

*****

It was just an old shoe box,
With a pink faded ribbon wrapped around.


© Loyd C Taylor
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