She brought home treasures,
found in local auctions, second hand shops,
treasures from trees, from walks the woods.
Statues, chipped teapots, bright vases, wild flowers,
gnarled and knotted pieces of wood.
Treasures carefully chosen and most often met with laughter,
and with subtle hints of mockery,
‘more rubbish to capture the dust’ we would say
an unspoken sign of female fancy and weakness.
Having had nothing of your own but the roles of dutiful daughter, wife, mother, cleaner, carer,
the role of self needed its own treasure to know that you were alive,
a fierce declaration that doesn’t need approval,
a sign that you too have passion, desires and beauty.
I remember that piece of knotted wood, shaped by the curve of an old oak tree.
Brought home, carefully washed, varnished and placed unapologetically on the mantlepiece
Now worth more than a million pieces of fine crystal.
I see, now more than ever, that at 91 you still find treasures,
flowers and beautiful foliage from your garden,
beauty that I would walk by and not even see,
Now I see your being, your beauty, your passion
Your gift of seeing treasure in anything, in everything,
even in us, even in you, even in me.