Since you’d be gone

on business that weekend


I decided to clean out our closet

and organize the shelves.


It was in a large plastic bin

with your yearbooks


and old newspaper clippings

yellowed with the sorrow of time.


I’m glad I didn’t find it

in our first or second year


or I might have thrown it out

behind your back


or made you burn it

like the clothes of a leper.


Inside it were faces and bodies

so beautiful and young,


captured in time and waiting

in photographs for you to remember.


I’m sorry, but I took my time

and read their letters—


so sincere I had to wipe

their tears from my own eyes.


I found it easy to smile

at your smile next to their smiles


and I was relieved that I hadn’t

tossed my own secret shoebox


like I’d considered

more than once


because I didn’t want to explain

how much these tokens meant to me


or lie, and tell you how easily

I could throw it away


if only just to prove

our love means more than all those others.


But the truth is that

we just loved these people differently


and maybe even more—

or so we thought back then


when there was no test,

like this one


to prove otherwise.




DeMaris Gaunt



Published by demarisgaunt

I currently live in Greenwood, Indiana. I love to listen to music, books on CD, podcasts or NPR as I work in my studio.  My favorite artists are Andrew Wyeth and Edward Hopper. I love poetry, but only the good stuff that isn’t so abstract I can’t understand it. Abstraction better lends itself to visual art, I think. Stephen Dunn is my favorite poet. He’s said just about anything that can be said about the inner workings of the heart and mind. My favorite novel is Atonement by Ian McEwan. My all time favorite band is The Cure. I love science, and anything that relates to how the mind works. I don’t believe in the supernatural. If I could meet anyone in the world, it would be Richard Dawkins or Steven Pinker. If you don’t buy my art or read my poetry, buy one of their books. It will enrich if not change your life.  My favorite things to do are hiking, kayaking and camping. My favorite food is so common, I’ll keep you in suspense (It starts with a P). I prefer chocolate to vanilla. Green is my favorite color. I have an aversion to planning or scheduling of any kind, and I live for spontaneous adventures! Telephone conversations make me anxious, and I avoid them at almost all cost. I had a happy childhood. I’m having a pretty fantastic adulthood. I have every intention of seeing my 100th birthday, after which I will happily relinquish my guts to the future of medicine. Cheers! ~DeMaris

One thought on “Shoebox

  1. Gut-wrenching. I have made it a foolish practice to discard all evidence of previous relationships each time I enter a new one. I have trashed body parts in many states.


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