It was tarnished and old with a broken clasp.
I tossed it into the drawer.
Why did my mother give it to me,
and what would I want it for?
She said I liked it long ago
when it was shiny and new.
But why she thought I’d like it now,
I really wished I knew.
The years passed by, and my little girl
was going through my things,
slipping bracelets on her arm
and trying on my rings.
“What’s this?” I heard my daughter ask
as she held it for me to see.
“Why, it’s just an old locket,” I replied,
“that your grandma gave to me.”
“Oh, Mommy, isn’t it beautiful?
It’s shaped just like a book
with pages you can turn inside
and pictures… Oh, look, Mommy, look.”
I saw it then through a child’s new eyes,
what I should have seen from the start,
the reason my mother treasured it so
and wore it close to her heart.
Now when I’m tempted to look at the surface,
discounting what’s broken or old,
I think of the locket all tarnished outside
with an inside of purest gold.