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.

Sifting through,

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










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