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A Grandma's Treasure Box
By Lonnie Hicks
Posted: Thursday, January 28, 2010
Last edited: Monday, February 15, 2010
This short story is rated "G" by the Author.
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Part of the poetry collection "Politics, Poetry and Love in the Obama Age"

Each of us
when we reached 14
would make the Visit to

Grandmothers house
to see what was inside
her Treasure Box;

the Family Treasure Box
where each year
one of us
got to see
what she had
hidden there...

My Dad had been;
my older brother
had been
and now it was my turn
to see that part of
Family History.

No one who'd seen
could talk of it.

No one could reveal to anyone
what was in Grandma's secret box.

No one did.
No one would risk
Grandmother's upset.
She lived beneath
the 'L' in Chicago
refusing to move
and they built
the tracks
right over her house;
each time one passed
it rocked her house
like rolling thunder;
Varoom, clacky clack
another one
going by.

Stubborn was not the word
for Grandmother.

She still wrote letters
30 years later
to every Mayor
complaining about the
tracks and the trains
saying she wanted them torn down.

Every month a letter.

Grandmother never
gave up;
never forgot;
fierce in her loves
fierce about her neighborhood
fierce about things which displeasured her
fierce about family
fierce about everything.

I sat with her,
apron on:
she served me pie.
'Sonny' she said
now you at the age
where you need to
learn grown-up things.

Like your Dad and brother
your turn now come
to see what drives
this family;
our family heirloom so to speak.
You'll see now.

As you grow up
you hear people talking about it
but we are the only family that
has it in our treasure box.
Lot's want it
but we the only one's
that has it.

She walked me up her tiny
narrow stair case to the attic
my head spinning,
wondering what it could be.

What did we have in our family
that the whole world wanted?

The treasure box was small;
a faded gold color
with a hand-carved lid
covered by Grandma's
liver-spotted hand
which shook in the dim

She shifted the box,
opening it with a tiny key
smiling faintly
her eyes moistening
as a sliver of sunlight
reflected into the opening box
and I could just begin to
see what was inside.
'There it is'
she said
'What is it? ' I said,
staring at a piece of cloth;
satin sheen
with a lace border.

'Every since your great
grandmother got
it has been the luck of this family
and so people's all over the
world hear about but
we the only one's who got it.
'What is it?
Your great great grandmother's;
cut from her mother's wedding dress
and from that day
this families' luck changed.

I looked at her eyes
looking for an answer there.
'Grandma what is it?
You heard of the Silver Lining'
Yes, I said.
Well this family has the only one.
It is the Silver Lining from your great, great,
grandmothers wedding dress.
Grandma had it
and she believed it had saved our  family
all these years.
'I took it out when
your mother had her cancer
and she got better
and it took away her pain.

I took it out when your younger brother
had his accident, and he lived.

I took it out when your grandfather went to war
and he came home safe.

I take it out when ever this family needs things.
It is our Silver Lining.

Now you must never speak
or tell what is in the treasure box
or it will break the spell.

I never did to this day.

Today I have the Treasure Box
waiting for my child
to have a chance to see.

Grandma's gone
leaving behind her Silver Lining
for the rest of us.
And on some days
I do take it out
when things look
like they might go bad.
Just for luck.

is always
looking for a Silver Lining
and some luck.

All the Grandmothers
gave us ours.


Web Site: Lonnie Hicks  

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