We packed the books, first,
And that took quite a while,
Weeks, actually, and with a lot of help;
We had to search for the largest boxes
For the cookie jars;
We packed the CDs, tapes, and records,
And asked ourselves why
We have three record players.
We took down curtains and valances,
And I washed them before packing them into boxes.
We took down my cherished paintings and Bob padded each one
With cardboard and towels to protect them.
He wrapped the small lighthouses in newspaper
While I did the same with dishes,
Knick Knacks, pottery, and other treasures.
Down came the various and sundry items
That reflect our many interests.
Into boxes went the linens;
Tablecloths, napkins, sheets and pillowcases—
Then the toys—the dolls and dollhouses;
Stuffed animals and beanie babies,
A little red wagon and a big yellow one,
A rocking chair and a hobby horse.
We wrapped Bob’s lanterns in newspapers,
Along with candles and from the garden,
We wrapped fairies, elves, brownies, angels,
Saints and a mermaid and a statue
Of the Virgin Mary.
We packed up a collection of recipe boxes that,
Astonishingly filled 19 boxes,
(and whenever I thought they’d all been packed,
I would find yet another one tucked away somewhere)
We packed stacks of cooking magazines I am unable to part with,
And drawers full of minutia ranging from
safety pins to thumb-tacks, and pencil sharpeners,
tape-measures and buttons and
a hundred or thousand little scraps of paper
bearing phone numbers or forgotten appointments.,
We packed a 50 year collection of photo albums
Which filled perhaps 15 boxes,
Some too heavy for me to lift.
And how could I forget
A collection of post cards and letters,
Some dating back forty years.
Discarding some but keeping others,
Such as a rare letter written to me by my father –
(I take it out and read it every so often, his
Handwriting so distinctly his)
We packed up boxes of games
That we play with the grandchildren,
And decks of cards and a wide assortment
Of dice, white and red and yellow.
I look around and there is not much left to suggest
That this was a warm and beloved home
For nineteen years.
It has all been packed into boxes,
Awaiting the day
When we unpack everything
In our new home.
Sandra Lee Smith
Written April 6, 2010, updated May 1, 2018