My Memories Live in my Mother’s Phone

Her dress shimmered tiny pink and green flower gardens
like a tablecloth in a rural twentieth century 
American farmhouse, something tender
you never saw since you were a child too,
pleats and folds along the bodice,
tucks and stitchery made with a patience
that barely abides anymore, her hair tightly braided
and coiled in circles against her perfect head
with tiny red ribbons at elegant intervals,
but when you said, Memories, her face fell.
She whispered, we left them, we had to 
leave everything in our house, 
my cabinet, my doll, my books,
my pepper plant, my pillow.
Nothing now we knew before.
But we have a few pictures.
My memories live in my mother’s phone. 


Copyright © 2022 by Naomi Shihab Nye. This poem originally appeared in Tikkun, January 5, 2022. Used with permission of the author.