A ticket stub, a bit of lace,
A button far from new
Are tucked into some saving space
And rarely come to view;
And yet you’d never toss them out
Because they are the keys
That turn your present world about
And back to memories.
Some locks of hair, pink-ribbon tied,
A small and pearly tooth
Produce a vision of your “pride”
In very early youth.
A rose book-pressed, a ragged toy,
A picture soiled and old
Can bring to cheeks a flush of joy
Because of thoughts they hold.
A yellowed clipping or a spoon,
A letter faint and worn,
A bit of verse, an old cartoon,
A program corner-torn
May seem as trash to other folk
Who in them have no stake.
To you they’re fires that you may poke
To keep the past awake.