29

Before you became a box

Concealing an Ottoman sword.

A dusty fez.

Family trees.

Folded deeds.

Lands that disappeared

Long before I arrived.

Sketches of horses,

And scribbles in the margin,

In praise of purity,

And Damascene breeds.

Hymns 

Affirming your faith

In the God you loved,

And feared.

Before you became a box.

You sat on a sofa,

Waiting for her to return.

You had sent your daughters 

One by one,

To bring back their mother

From an afternoon tea.

Evenings were dark

Until you could see, 

The strawberry silver

And that gentle key.

Did it occur to you

That you were rehearsing 

The genes you would bequeath to me?

Before you became a box.

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