The Collector

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Time has softened me, the years of tears lapping at my previously

sharp edges have smoothed them into rounded spaces of comfort.

That I now cling to soothe myself in the rough moments

I have collected poems, pictures and memories from my past

and folded them into my pockets. I keep them close to savor;

To keep me together when life threatens to upend me.

I am various shades of who I used to be and who I’m supposed to be.

But even with all the changes, the losses, and the growth

A large part of me remains the same as before.

I still collect emotions, wipe away tears, dole out smiles and lend strength.

I am the link connecting us, blending from one grandchild to the next

Born of cotton picking fingers, griots and counselors.

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