When I was very young, I collected trinkets: small animal figurines that fit in the palm of my hand, seashells, buttons, marbles, and glass bottles filled with sand. There were also photographs, posters, music boxes, dolls, even a lava lamp. And then, one day, it was gone. All of it. What hadn’t disappeared was left shattered on the floor, unrecognizable remnants of things that could never have been truly mine.
The years that followed consisted of bare walls and white-washed memories of a life I no longer knew and no longer claimed. I floated through towns and drifted past faces, always with a suitcase at hand. I slept on couches and blow-up mattresses. Bought no furniture, no picture frames. I prided myself on minimalism, and made myself plain. I no longer cared to collect things that could not be kept.
But now there are colors on my walls and shelves lined with books. There’s a box full of records, a case full of collectibles, and a closet full of keepsakes. There are trinkets on my dresser. Sitting in a neat little row, all shiny and proud, placed with the utmost care. They are beautiful. And I am uneasy. Because I know that trinkets can’t always be kept. And beautiful things can be broken.
Amanda Lee grew up in McDonough, GA, and currently resides in Gainesville, Fl with her fiancěe. She is currently working on her BA in Psychology, and in her free time, she enjoys reading, writing, painting, and walking in nature. When she doesn’t have a pen or a book in her hand, Amanda can usually be found somewhere outdoors. She loves to discover and explore new nature parks, and her fondness for the natural world is often reflected in her poetry. In the near future, she is hoping to publish her first chapbook.