This poem represents the unearthing of old memories from the past and the things I used to treasure that I must now surrender to time.
I dig out all the things in my drawers and cabinets once a year.
A flashlight from middle school graduation
Red with white letters
But the light doesn’t flicker on.
A stack of notebooks with a coat of dust are slid out from underneath my bed
vibrant fuschia, an earthy green, and tropical floral print.
I pick through post it notes
with step by step algebra and lists of daily homework assignments.
Old SAT practice exams with my corrections in red pen
And ‘I can do this’ scribbled in the margins when I got stressed mid-test.
Everything that seemed so new and so difficult
is simple to me now.
I pack and unpack trash bags
Of fourth grade bedazzled shirts and multicolored yarn sweaters.
Reorganize drawers and buy new methods of storage.
I throw all my clothes on my bed
To try and discard my middle school graphic tees with words like
You’re on point!, Slow your roll, and Crushed it.
But then I neatly pack everything back up
To care for them another year.
Versions of myself I look back on,
But I still feel the need to protect.
I unwillingly surrender myself to time
And the memories all around me.
Reflecting on my childhood, I remembered there was a time when holding onto the past was just living in the present and I hoped to create a poem that was an ode to the versions of myself that have brought me to who I am today.
Rachel Young is a college student interested in exploring multimedia and developing her creative writing skills. She hopes to develop more confidence as she solidifies her ideas and learns to express herself more clearly. In her free time, she enjoys bullet journaling, finding new foods to make, and listening to Taylor Swift.