dusty age settles on the paper
marked with pencil and chalk
like teacher scrawls up on the board
the writer’s hands powdered with white
it’s familiar, like an old blanket
like memories lost in the sand

the old page is the color of sand
crinkles and ink stains marring the paper
it’s worn, too, like my wool blanket
with odd stains like someone spilled chalk
dust or bleach to cause patches of white
then it was flattened straight like a board

I found the old paper under a board
in the attic so dusty it seemed coated in sand
old artifacts disintegrated to gritty white
and the first to go is always the paper
which is why it’s strange to see this covered in chalk
though it was hidden under a blanket

I went up to the attic to find that old blanket
and I was careful not to disturb the loose board
detritus littered the floor like broken chalk
and I slipped as if I were sliding on sand
and there it was, that piece of old paper
so old and tattered it’s no longer white

the snow fell outside ‘til everything was white
coating the yard in a thick, heavy blanket
unspoiled and flat like a clean sheet of paper
so it was that I knocked over the loose board
and made a discovery like diamonds in sand
that weird old page covered in chalk

words were faded, spelled out in chalk
and pencil obscuring what was left of the white
page, and old words told a story of sand
and the cold and the cover of a blanket
I’m surprised by the stories hidden under the board
lives lost spilled out on the paper

then the paper crumbled in my hand like chalk
what was under the board is now white
smothered with a blanket and gone like the sand