Keepsakes like a breath
by Irene Toh

My mother wore jade,
heaven made,
with no twist in fate
to unbend her, except heavenward,
life so sweet, if unmade.

I stared at the lilies
so pink, stayed in
the present tense, rumble
in the music,
in some chronological
sense, because it took as long
to figure out.

That time isn’t meant to
be one long string
tied to your ear,
it bends, it gets into
terrible knots,
creating sensations
like strings,
like music.

That gold glitters on
my sister’s neck,
linking her back to
a heart of diamonds
so sweet, my father’s
little keepsakes.

Irene Toh lives on a tropical island. She writes about fall and plums, spring and lilacs, summer and fishes, winter and bears. Mostly she’s inspired by the moon and the stars.


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