It’s a really ugly box; the lid is warped, its corners in tatters. Let’s throw it away, I say, there’s just a lot of junk in it.
No Mom, she says, look here. Sit down with me.
There are two rusty screws and she asks if I remember that day, when she was five and rode her bike alone for the first time. These are the screws from when Dad took off my training wheels.
A grubby knot of tissue; she unwraps it and there it lies, a gory milk tooth. When you were still the Tooth Fairy; you left the money under my pillow, but forgot to take the tooth.
What about this; a stone? It is a magic pebble, when I have to do an oral exam, I keep it in my pocket and squeeze it in my hand and forget about the class watching me.
A broken torch, a ball of string, a key, a length of bathplug chain …
I guess the box must stay.