Grandpa’s Keepsakes
by Casey Derengowski

I was up in the attic getting decorations for Mom
shuffling through boxes all covered with dust
she found a stack of discolored old photos
I spied a chest that she said had been Gramps’.

I remember him well, so full of stories
he could just about fix anything broken
we cried when he died after plenty of years
he was our link to events of the past.

I knew that chest was a treasure for me
I hauled it carefully to the quiet of my room
sat on the floor, the chest at my feet
anxious to explore years long gone by.

It was full of clutter, keepsakes and stuff
pictures of Granny, he loved her so
he made her blush, she’d make him laugh
they’d talk to each other without using words.

Within, a pocket knife to cut apples for kids
or initials into our walking sticks
he whittled birds from chunks of scrap wood
or cleaned his nails against Gram’s advice.

There was a garter, a ring, and a corncob pipe
a photo of him saving a colt
there were many other things tucked into that box
but too many tears came into my eyes.

I treasure that chest now placed on the hearth
as well as the items that had meaning to Gramps
I’ll pass on the stories to grandkids and kin
along with these artifacts so dear to me now.

AUTHOR’S PHOTO CAPTION: This photograph was taken recently, though the chest dates back some 80  years. It currently holds a place of honor on our hearth.

NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: I especially enjoy writing narrative poetry that addresses morality and the human condition.


ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Caseyy Derengowski was born in Chicago, reared in Cicero Illinois, and presently lives in Southern California with his wife of 50 years. His writing includes publication in the Journal of Modern Poetry, Chicago Press, San Diego Poetry Annual, Summation (the Ekphrastic anthology of the Escondido Municipal Gallery), and numerous other anthologies.