Poets’ Corner: Mary’s Shelf


The attic, the closet, the chest of drawers,

The chest of hope, life’s things are stored

There alone. All by myself

I was placed on Mary’s shelf.

The attic holding yesteryear of baby clothes

And gifts held dear

From the closet remembrance springs

School day joys — romantic flings

The chest of drawers with treasured things —

The box of letters, once-worn rings

Within the chest of hope there lies

Future dreams — divine surprise

There alone all by myself

I sat misplaced on Mary’s shelf.

On occasion — her chartless days —

She’d sit alone in far-off gaze

Lost within some thought gone free

Like landlocked sailors might think of sea

There alone all by myself

I sat and watched from Mary’s shelf.

The attic, the closet, the chest of drawers

The chest of hope — life’s things were stored.

They’re empty now — just like myself,

Left alone on Mary’s shelf.

Yet through her window,

Past her hill,

Down the path

And further still

Remembering her brings

Like wood to mill

Death of a tree — but a beam to build.

Lenny Hall is a student and observer of life without formal credentials who finds inspiration on Martha’s Vineyard.