I unpack boxes, the stuff you left, nothing that you needed for the afterlife. I am itchy from the yellow age of all these keepsakes: frilly birthday greetings; proof of vaccinations, polio, diphtheria; report cards from St. Cyril’s. I find the ponytail that you cut off, my thick brown hair; and a tiny baby tooth in paper, and in your hand, December 1959. I remember how it felt, my pink tongue hastening its escape from my fresh mouth. I waited for the fairies, but they never came for that little clue, proof that I lived once, at least to five.


Catherine Harnett is the author of two books of poetry, and a number of short stories. For over 30 years, Catherine worked for the federal government. She lives in Virginia.

Photo Credit: Craig Sunter

One Response to “Trove”

  1. Susan Sink says:

    This is a fantastic story/poem. I love that tooth and the ending!

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