“Hidden Treasures” (Sara Church)

Mornings here smell of syrup-soaked
Pancakes, with square islands
Of butter floating on top.
Later there will be sugar cookies,
With cross-hatched bottoms
From cooling on the steel racks.
But first, to see what is beyond
The thick wooden door to the basement.

A cellar cave discovered!
With cool slab concrete floor,
Smooth as a cat’s-eye marble.
Shelves, like arms, hold out
Treasures in a pirate’s cove:
Mason jars frosted with dust
Containing secret family potions,
Labeled in weeping willow script
On peeling yellow stickers.
Boxes held together with cracked
Brown tape contain games of
Mousetrap, Which Witch, and Shenanigans.
Towers of brittle books covered
With lattices of cobwebs.
Holly Hobby’s doll house looms,
With little shoes and aprons
Left in disarray on tiny
Unmade beds.

And best of all, waiting
In the bare-bulb light:
The weathered toy box
With peeling red and blue paint.
A treasure chest containing
Joys of the past—rediscovered
To delight a pillaging grandchild.


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