Monte-Carlo tickets in a leather case,
the reminder of Princess Grace, and
your hurried, graceful attire.
You saved old man’s beard
as a memory of the time in summer
when afternoon turns to evening
and he kissed your hair from behind
and tucked fallen leaves behind your ear.
You saved the four-leaved clover
you found as a girl and
tucked away in a papier-mâché egg,
in those days when whimsies were made of paper
(and you saved the luck that it brought).
your grandmother’s tea-set,
and your father’s quicksilver sketches.
You saved the privation of your upbringing
in your bones and in your way
of squeezing the last from every foil tube
and neatly rolling the end, snail-shelled and tight.
You saved the memory of heat rising,
tarmac-scented, from damp Cardiff streets,
and saved the light where sky touches sea
in the irides of your eyes. Even near the end,
the light shone back. Even near the end,
all these things were saved, in you.