Old Basket Full of History

 By Elece Hollis

Old basket, you make me wonder
You make my mind twist back
Into the spaces where time was still young.

In a thrift shop, I found you
Unwanted, uncared for, unrecognized
I saw you and took you home.

I washed dust from your weave in hottest water
Your vines drank in that liquid like gold.
I hung you on my porch to dry.

Who made you? A pioneer housewife?
I think so. I say she carried you to town with her
Saturdays on the seat of the buckboard.

Her daughter salvaged you from the leanto  later
and used you for storing her scissors,
her sewing threads, and needles.

She left you behind when
The family left for California. No room
For fragile wicker baskets.

A grocer picked you from the auctioneers goods.
He painted red letters across your front.
He set you on his countertop to hold gardening trowels.

When he retired and the store closed
You went to the small house at the edge of town.
There you carried eggs to the water pump to be washed.

You hung and dripped and the eggs dried.
The egg business drooped and you
Hung in the sun until your red letters faded.

You were stashed in a corner of the garage.
You held old gloves and dust.
Dust again like those depression years.

After the sale where noone claimed you,
You went to live in the bin of the thrift store.
You were tossed aside until I walked in.

Now you are mine. I chersihed your legacy.
I love your history. I admire your longevity.
I hope you will stay a long time here at my house.

A piece of the past. My piece of history,
Your handle still straight ready to be of service,
Waiting on my porch in the sunshine.

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