Lynn White

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Her Collection

They called it her collection,
mementoes from all over the place.
I didn’t know where all over the place was
but the painted figures were so colourful
I thought it must be very different
to the grey drizzle of this place.
They told me they weren’t toys,
I was not even to touch them,
I could only look
as they stood
silently
in line
on their shelves.

Sometimes, though
when they pleaded with me
through their silence,
I gave them a little stroke,
I know it pleased them.
And once,
just once,
I took them down,
freed them from their cupboard,
from the straight lines of shelving
and allowed them to touch each other
to behave as they once did in their place.
That was the only time I heard them speak
and the colours poured from their voices
all over the place.

And now, it’s another time
and I’m in a different place
watching them still standing speechless.
Even their colours are muted with dust now
but I can hear their voices through the silence.
They’re pleading with me to free them again.
So I shall bid for Lot 53,
her collection.

***
Editor’s Note: The old lady’s captive collection of painted figurines come alive in the young child’s imagination, and the child breathes life into them. The idea of capturing the essence of the place one has traveled to in an object is a metaphor for something more significant. This poem tenderly shows us how an innocent child can set the world free.

***
Lynn White lives in north Wales. Her work is influenced by issues of social justice and events, places and people she has known or imagined. She is especially interested in exploring the boundaries of dream, fantasy and reality. She was shortlisted in the Theatre Cloud ‘War Poetry for Today’ competition and has been nominated for a Pushcart Prize and a Rhysling Award. Her poetry has appeared in many publications including: Apogee, Firewords, Capsule Stories, Gyroscope Review and So It Goes.

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