Keeper of Memories


Photo: Wikipedia Labeled for Non-commercial Use

Photo: Wikipedia
Labeled for Non-commercial Use

Keeper of Memories

In musty basement dark
of that old house upon the hill
an old man finds a tattered leather case
(dimpled faux-finish, I now see)
caresses it as though it were his lover,
while I stand by and watch.

Gnarled hands fumble
at a rusty clasp that keeps
the contents from intrusion.
In spite of trembling that I know so well,
unwanted company of his later years,
he eases the lid on its loosened hinges.

Pungent aromas escape to fan
familiar once-upon-a-time remembrances
of when I was a child.

Images flash forward,
rape my ears, my eyes
and cold smooth surfaces, my touch,
so that a melding of sensations
hurl me back in time
to when I sat in expectation,
and listened to the quiet.

He brings the contents now to view.
No longer does she gleam,
yet there beneath patina tinged with tarnish
I smell music.

Clutching her now against his concave chest
he shuffles rhythmically across the room,
remembering, no doubt those evenings
spent upon the porch in twilight murmurings.

Once settled in between the cushions
of a tattered, dusty chair
he raises up the precious object to his lips and blows.
Diminished breath invades her inner being.

But I am overcome by remnants,
not of sound, but scent
that lingers still within the archives of my soul
in saxophonic exclamation.

This poem goes back to 2011. I thought I’d share it today for dVerse Open Link Night where we are invited to share a poem of any form or subject.  Come on in and share some fun and poetry.


20 thoughts on “Keeper of Memories

  1. There’s something about the saxaphone … 🙂

    The use of the verb rape is jarring and impactful. Wonderful read. You transported me into the moment.


  2. lynn__ says:

    I always admire and enjoy your poetic voice, Victoria…sweet-smelling music!


  3. not of sound, but scent that lingers
    still within the archives of my soul

    How strange but how true the scent of a loved one can have a great impact on the person’s longings and memories!



  4. So poignant and nostalgic. It really altered my mood.


  5. Bodhirose says:

    This feels like a homecoming of sorts, being reunited with a beloved and cherished friend from your youth. And it reminded me of when my brother played the trumpet when he was a young man…it definitely had a smell, that metal, those “keys” or whatever they’re called and kept in a velvet-lined case. I wonder if he still has it?


  6. kanzensakura says:

    Oh Victoria, I do love this! So sad and yet, so full of happy memories, of music…I smell music. You always do so well with synaesthesia. And I love that you too have snow on your page.


  7. Sue says:

    Beautiful synaesthetic and very poignant write, Victoria…I loved it


  8. Teresa says:

    Love the “smell of music”. It certainly does recall the days of my youth in band. Very nice.


  9. Oloriel says:

    I feel like I have been invited for a walk inside an open chest, where heart is a garden. Wonderful poetry.


  10. A lovely poem to capture these memories, ‘I smell music’ is such a wonderful line. Thank you for sharing this gem with us Victoria :o)


  11. ladynyo says:

    “I smell music” Oh god, that grabbed me. My father was a French Horn player….and I could smell the music before a note was blown just by the presence of the horn. Victoria…a wonderful, evocative poem. Thank you for more than the memories….”I smell music”.


  12. I know how much you love synaesthesia and this express that so will in the scents. I almost feel that music smells like an old briefcase which is perfect for jazz I think.


  13. Sabio Lantz says:

    What a wonder memory of your lover!


  14. scillagrace says:

    “saxophonic” – 🙂 Thank you!


  15. Jae Rose says:

    That saxophone seems held like a lover..we care.. memories and perhaps a little sadness held within those keys..


  16. kim881 says:

    A wonderful description of a musician caressing their instrument like a lover and rediscovering the joys of playing. I love the lines
    No longer does she gleam,
    yet there beneath patina tinged with tarnish
    I smell music’
    and I can hear that ‘saxophonic exclamation’!


  17. Grace says:

    I smell music, I love this line~ And that ending, the scent of nostalgia and memories. Love this share Victoria.


  18. Sanaa Rizvi says:

    My goodness, Victoria❤️ this is the most beautiful piece of writing ever!


  19. Diane Westwell says:

    What delightful and touching writing, poignant and stirring.
    I enjoyed reading this,
    Best wishes,
    ABCW team.


  20. thotpurge says:

    What a precious moment!


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