What Remains

When I was nine
my parents parked
outside the plaza card shop
on a hot June day
so I could buy a present.
My sister stayed in the car.

The shop smelled like paper.
There was a back room,
separated by a beaded curtain,
where you could find gifts:
candles and wooden owls,
macramé and pottery.

The candleholders I bought
were avocado green
and hot pink —a pair,
two, like my parents.
It was their 10th anniversary,
and we were celebrating.

How funny to find them
after all these years,
candleholders in a dust-covered box
with hard wax held fast,
like memories
and how things used to be.

Poem ©2016, Jen Payne, National Poetry Month, 28.

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