Poem of the Week, by Kathryn Nuernberger

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A heart-shaped box of drugstore chocolates was a big deal, back in the day. It was an annual Valentine’s treat from my parents, my dad really, since my mother hates to shop and he did almost all of it. Covered in cellophane, a big red bow, a whole little box for each of us.

As a grownup I turned into a chocolate snob, but when I pass by the Valentine’s chocolate display at CVS I remember how special it was, what a treat, to hold that heart-shaped box and know it was mine. Most of the time it’s not the thing itself that matters but the person, the homeland, the time of life behind the thing. Those, we hold in our heart of hearts forever.

The Sound of Music, by Kathryn Nuernberger

When I tell you I love
the song “Edelweiss”
you have to understand
that even though I too
am a sophisticate
who scorns musicals,
I was once a little girl
who stood in my grand-
father’s living room
singing, Cuckoo!
Cuckoo! while he sipped
his scotch and laughed
at my preciosity.
And when I sing the lyrics
in your ear—Small and
bright, clean and white,
you look happy to meet me
you have to understand
my grandfather only ever
had one friend, a jeweler
who also drank scotch,
and left his $10,000 Rolex
to my grandfather, who
wore it even though
it turned his wrist green,
wore it to the funeral,
where the daughter sang
in her ethereal voice. Blossom
of snow may you bloom
and grow, bloom and grow
forever. She couldn’t take
her eyes off the casket.
You have to understand that
my grandfather kept spinning
that heavy gold around
his wrist, and when he raised
his voice to join in, he cried
to sing it. Edelweiss, edelweiss,
bless my homeland forever.

Please click here for more information about Kathryn Nuernberger. 

My podcast: Words by Winter

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