I didn’t know it was supposed to be preserved
I didn’t know it was a souvenir
I was a teenager, what did I know?
Circles of soap were in a display box
Smooth palm-sized colored discs
Individually wrapped like candy
Scented by roses
When you realized what I’d done
You scolded me
How could I not see?
They weren’t meant for ordinary
They weren’t meant to be used at all
Like a forbidden apple
Not meant to be consumed
You should’ve put a label on
A warning clue to never use it
Because it belonged to grandma
Your mother who had passed
You wanted it to remind you of her forever.
I was so sorry I ruined it.
I dried it off
Rewrapped it in cellophane
Returned it to the plastic box
Where it remained in shame.
Now I understand how you felt even more
Because everything you had and held
Is so rare and precious now that you’re gone
I’m sorry mama.
So often we can’t understand
The hidden details of life
Until they happen.