My keepsake is a box
without a silver key

Nancy Riggs Robart says “the essence of the past is still present in the beating heart of the lake” where she and her husband have spent time with their children every summer since 1986. Photo courtesy of Nancy Riggs Robart

Filled with the treasure
of memory.

No diamonds, no rubies,
No emeralds or rings
fill my keepsake box

Just moments
not things

Lined with gold
of history
hinged with eras
known once to me

Hands cannot grasp
And make time stay

Or hold
the memory of a day

Days months and years
are souvenirs bought
which capture and hold
the priceless thoughts

Memories forsake locks

Inside the keepsake keyless box.

I wrote a poem about a Maine lake where we have spent many summer weeks with our kids since 1986. Thoreau said “a lake … is Earth’s eye; looking into which the beholder measures the depth of his own nature.” The constantly changing views are like our constantly changing lives as we go our separate ways. We still go to the lake for a few days as change is more prominent as we get older, but the essence of the past is still present in the beating heart of the lake.

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