Cleaning a dark hallway closet she reaches for the top shelf where her fingers tap a hidden, out of view object. Up on a kitchen stool she stretches to grasp a square object and brings on the linoleum floor it's an old familiar box. Mother's box. Finely crafted and decorated in bronze bolts and rivets it has a purse metal handle a matching latch, time wrapped in a dark layer of grime the box hides its color but otherwise seems to be in pristine shape. Her curiosity piqued she wipes it clean and opens it gently. It squeals. The stop hinge halts with a sigh and there under the antediluvian lid her late mother's sentimental possessions blink to light.
On the floor legs apart she solemnly looms over mother’s life gathered into the narrow wooden box. Like a curtain over the entire content is a fabric bid and sequin pouch mother used to travel her Native American jewelries on their international excursions. Still shiny and intact the golden bag lights memories of long airport lines frozen in time while mother's jewelries are fetched out and studied by airport security workers. Year after year the little bag the sole reason for their lagging behind airport checkpoints.
She lays each item in a semi-circle taking a stroll deeper and farther to where it all started, her childhood and mother's youth. Cake like layered the interior of the box has youth at the bottom: a pink and white headband mom used to sling on her baby head, a pacifier, and a name bracelet them two made, ribbons mom tied in her braids on her first day of school a lifetime ago. Some clear bags holding snips of loose and braided hair held in colorful scrunchies along with mother’s notes. A pull on a yellow thread strings out a palm size ethnic leather bag densely packed with fairy snatched teeth.
Like a mummy, mother's life, is laid to rest inside the small wooden tomb. Her early days strewn on the bottom in a hug of baby things, broken toys and tangled vintage trinkets. From a steeper hill of life her middle age and crisis swank finger cymbals and a forlorn collection of black and white pictures of centuries old ancestors, she attempted to resuscitate to trip and slow a fast paced life speeding away.