by Martina Robles Gallegos
At the age of nine years old,
I was shocked by shiny rocks;
My fence hid a precious gift
that brought joy to my life.
It was a crystal-looking jewel
lodged between two heavy rocks.
I thought this find to be a blessing,
and my imagination took flight.
I found a secret place for my treasure;
I’d never reveal my secret to anyone.
My gift looked like miniature castles;
its kingdom became my playground.
I washed it till it shined like a star
and assigned it a great King.
The kingdom became my fortress
and my childhood refuge.
I roamed that immense castle
playing with bunnies, puppies, kittens,
and chasing fireflies and butterflies.
I especially enjoyed chasing Monarchs.
I looked for colorful parrots among
the green canopies.
Sharing my miniature castle with others
was like giving away a limb;
when mom has visitors, though,
I had no choice but to share
until they got too greedy
and wanted to take it away.
I was determined to keep the only
toy I ever owned, a gift from nowhere.
Just as I was getting ready to leave the country,
I went to get my miniature castles,
but to my horror, they weren’t in their secret place.
Just as they’d mysteriously appeared in the fence,
now they’d disappeared from their hiding place.
I was heartbroken!
I looked everywhere for it,
in the house, fence, and even rooftop.
I’d lost my miniature castles forever!
Well, not really. Years later, in another country,
a similar chunk of quartz, again, mysteriously
showed up in my living room!
It’s not as shiny as the first one,
but I have my miniature castles again.
My gift takes me back to my nine years of joy;
I guess miniature castles truly are magical.
PHOTO: The author’s “refound” piece of quartz.
NOTE FROM THE AUTHOR: Since I mysteriously lost my most prized possession then mysteriously found another one like it many years later, I decided to write about it and immortalize it before it disappears again.
ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Martina R. Gallegos came from Mexico and attended Pasadena High School, Oxnard College, and CSUN. She got a Master’s from Grand Canyon University after a massive stroke. She published her first book in 2016 Grab the Bull by the Horns (Outskirts Press). Her work has appeared in Hometown Pasadena, Basta!, Altadena Poetry Review: Anthology 2015, Spectrum, The Girl God, and SIlver Birch Press.