Family Treasure

In the snapshot, you are smiling,
the great uncle I knew for only a few years;
yet I keep your photographs,
nineteen-thirties monochrome,
together with Neptune’s and Davy Jones’
endorsement of your initiation
into the solemn mysteries of the deep.

Seven years to the day before my mother’s birth,
you sat on a boat bound for Padang
with your diver’s suit and aqualung,
and a smile that I remember among
faces I could never know.

As a child, I imagined you diving
with mermaids, serpents
and other creatures of the sea,
the glass in your helmet like a TV.

I kept a few of the treasures
you brought home from Japan:
the Damascene necklace
with the butterfly
that reminds me
of days gone by.
But the green silk kimono
with the painted blossoms
was lost in the undertow
of life.

Kim M. Russell, 2018


My response to Poets United Midweek Motif: Treasure

Sumana is our host for this week’s treasure of a midweek motif.

27 thoughts on “Family Treasure

  1. OwOOOOO! Love. I have tears in my eyes! How many photos, how many people and things in my life deserve this tratment. Thank you for this poem and its “solemn mysteries of the deep.”

    Liked by 1 person

  2. It’s amazing what stories an old photo or certificate will conjure up in our minds. These family artifacts are treasures indeed.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thank you, Rosemary. I felt sad writing this poem as there are so few members left of my mother’s family and we were once so close. When Mum died, my youngest sister just took or got rid of everything. What I have left is very precious to me.


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