Some mothers keep it all—
Every little thing the lost child
loved or touched or made.
I wasn’t such a mother.
I wanted only a few keepsakes—
made more precious by the value
he had given them.
His favorite thing was my favorite thing—
which was one of his earliest drawings
he called “Happy Guy”—
a big blue head with a tiny blue body
that made us howl every time
he pulled it from the scrapbook.
Some perfect combination
of cartoon eyes and a wild open grin
turned us upside down.
He used to sneak up behind me
when I was at the sink or at my desk
and shove it between me and my task
and we would squeeze each other
while we laughed.
And now I only think about the box
in the closet which contains it.
I know where it is if I need it.
The image hasn’t changed,
but my reaction is somewhat altered.
Everything now is so much altered.