The Sleeping Box
for Sophia Rose

Delicately stored away
in a potpourri patterned box
sleeps the memory
of a baby lost in time.

Swathed inside a dressing gown
with booties crocheted
by loving unknown hands
the ghost of what will never be
No heartbeat. No cries
persist in this makeshift tomb.

When I held her in my arms
she was a cherry blossom tree,
branches protruding,
cupped with buds
of white or pink blossoms
that had yet to appear.

she was beautiful
in her simple, pearl way.
I felt her long toenails
which had grown without abandon;
tiny seashells scattered along
a white sandy beach.

I should have clipped them
and collected them in a bottle
for safekeeping.

Two Summers later,
I have become the box’s caretaker;
dusting and minding for moths.
Careful not to disturb
the precious contents within.

* * * * *

This poem originally appeared in Big River Poetry Review.  It was included in Angel, a chapbook of poetry by Sandy Sue Benitez published in 2012 by Crisis Chronicles Press.

Sandy Sue Benitez is the author of Ever Violet, a full-length collection of poetry (D-N Publishing, 2007). She has authored four previous chapbooks: Beneath a Black Pearl Sky (Flutter Press, 2009), The Lollipop Club (Victorian Violet Press, 2010), Petal Storm (Flutter Press, 2010), and Postcards from Iraq (Books on Blogs, 2011). Sandy’s work also appears in two anthologies: Lilith: A Collection of Women’s Writes and Postcards from Eve, (both Fortunate Childe Publications). She is also the Founder & Editor of Flutter Poetry Journal and Flutter Press. Sandy’s poetry has appeared in over 130 print and online poetry journals since 2006. She resides in the Inland Empire, California, with her husband and their 2 children.

Angel cover photo by Kim Newberg