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- 2nd Traditional Verse

Poetry Competition



Second Prize


The Collector by Susan Sommerlad

She sits at a window and smiles at the ocean,
in the small wooden house on a cliff by the sea,
close gathered around her a treasured collection,
a lifetime's mementos, her life's history.

Her memory is fading, the days flow together,
she's frail and forgetful it causes her strife,
but show her a seashell a scarf or a carving,
she'll tell you the story, its place in her life.

White pebbles once hurled on a beach in her childhood,
straw angels which hung on a Christmastide tree,
the rope from the yacht that she sailed single-handed,
a silk shawl worn dancing all night in Capri.

A sketch by Picasso, a personal treasure,
from times when she lived with him briefly in France.
A necklace her grandmother brought out of Russia,
stitched close in her bodice, just got through by chance.

The ebony carving she bought in the Congo,
when studying elephants, rhinos and snakes.
The bracelet a Masai gave to her in Kenya,
her African saga she loves to relate.

See vases, wall hangings, cups, saucers and platters,
she's potted and glazed in her years by the sea.
The glass that she fashioned to shine as a window.
the paintings of oceans and rainforest trees.

The house is a treasure-trove, filled with her lifetime,
some things are more precious, she loves them the best,
the small faded photo, a man in a smart suit,
the man whom she loved, though he's now at his rest.

In dim bedroom corner a silver box hidden,
it's reverently opened, the contents she lays,
a tiny wool jacket wrapped softly in paper,
for the baby who lived in her arms just one day.

She sits at the table and opens her journal,
starts carefully penning a poem or tale,
no matter if yesterday's facts are a puzzle,
there's a wealth of remembering here that won't fail.

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