There. The curved top poking up. Soil gently falling down the sides. The raised golden pattern peeling slightly, as fraying grey edges betrayed its age. I was surprised though the cardboard had lasted this long to be honest.
We sat back on our heels. Ready to face our youth. Explore our time capsule. We couldn’t remember what was inside. We just knew where it was buried. Underneath this old beech, in the garden. We had to dig it up now. Before new hands swung on the branches, raked the leaves in autumn. Before new feet drummed out youth beats in the summer sun.
We wanted to take our memories with us. Hold them steady in our hands as we took our last look at the garden.
We scrapped around the sides of the box, shuffling soil away, reaching down into the damp darkness. We tried to pull it up, slide our hands underneath but found only dirt.
Slowly we lifted the lid.
Only soil, decayed walls, and crumbles of paper. Our memories seeped into the earth.
Elisabeth Kelly lives on a hill farm in the Scottish Borders with her young family and far too many animals. Her poetry and prose has been published widely online and in print journals including with Dreich, Dawntreader, Dodging the Rain, One Hand Clapping, The Honest Ulsterman, Eyeflash Poetry, Green Ink, and in anthologies published by Hedgehog Poetry Press, Nine Pens Press, and Forest Publishing. She was shortlisted for the Anthony Cronin Poetry Award in 2021, and 2022. She has a slim pamphlet published by HybridDreich Mind Mathematics 2021, a poetry pamphlet by Hedgehog Poetry Press Carbon 2022. She has a children's chapter book Ivy's Magical Mission due with Stairwell Book in 2022. She loves the change of seasons and chocolate puddings. She tweets at @eekelly22.
'Wild Chamomile' by Elisabeth Kelly is now available to buy from our store!