• Malu Baumgarten

The Compass and the Treasure Chest

I found the old compass and the treasure chest

under the bed, the day you left

Nothing else

no tear, no smile, no friendly adieu

You left behind the compass

minimalist, delicate, made in metal and wood

I let myself wonder

where did it come from?

a trip to the Orient, a walk in Chinatown

the Buy & Sell across the street?

Did you inherit it from an old lover?

was it stolen or bought,

a farewell gift perhaps

was it forgotten on a sit in the subway train?

Then the chest, it sits on my open hand

how large the treasures it holds,

which pains, many days of sun and dust

Aztec kings and La Malinche,

la chingada madre de Mexico mestizo.

I found the old compass and the treasure chest

under our bed the day you moved out,

and with you moved your tears, your lies,

the merciless self-pity.

I keep the best of you

the little compass to guide me when I fall astray

the chest to keep my riches, which by and by

will fit well under the Aztec sun, and come around

the circular time, repeating themselves again and again

adding a little wisdom each time

or so I hope.

Words and photography ©Malu Baumgarten - all rights reserved



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