Our weekends at the cabin were vacations we adored,
for our grandpa and our grandma made sure that we weren’t bored.
Every single Saturday, they sent us on a quest.
I always set out on my own for I feared that the rest
would take credit for the fact that I’d found the strangest thing
that our grandparents had set the task for each of us to bring.
Those times out on my own were a relief from the noise
from all the squealing little girls and all the shouting boys,
for the numbers of my cousins— all those brothers and those sisters—
pounded on my eardrums ’til I feared that they’d make blisters.
I hated all the folderol, for I preferred the calm.
The quiet sounds of nature acted as a balm.
The whispering of treetops and the music of the loons
were a contrast to the cowboy movies and the Looney tunes
streaming from the playroom where the television
was another thing that prompted my decision
that I could best seek treasure on a solitary search,
and, indeed, I found it in the shadows of a birch—
an eye that looked out at me from the darkness and the gloom
like the only thing alive within a haunted room.
I freed it with my pocketknife—too large for my pocket.
Too large for grandpa’s “thing” box, let alone for grandma’s locket.
What is it? I’m not going to tell where I found the eyes
one of which won me that week’s treasure prize!