I found a boxful in our kitchen
on the shelf
reserved for spices and sweetmeats.
Rattling like tambourines,
they had been mistaken for hard candies
way to the back
along with wizened nutmegs
and a bottle of vanilla extract.
Lifting the lid,
I stirred the disks with a finger.
One on the bottom
caught my nail,
a curio from the Early Iron Age,
like something found in a Danish peat bog,
now ruined by the slow burning of rust.
Were those holes for threading?
from my daughter's
first pair of patent-leather shoes,
treasures from the five-and-dime,
which never fastened anything,
cast brass with rhinestones,
wafers of gilded Bohemian glass,
and one pin-back touting Alf Landon
The last to be looked at,
of clay and shellac,
was etched with an apple,
that there were no buttons in Eden,
not even bellybuttons.