Hard Drive

Seven years of pictures and videos—
senior year in high school, backpacking.,
two year mission, away at school,
homecomings, courtship,
engagement pictures, honeymoon travels,
first home, moving in, a floppy-eared puppy,
the pacific coast, camping in redwoods,
snorkeling in the Bahamas, pregnancy,
firstborn child, first steps,
hiking, public parks, reunions, birthdays,
anniversaries, holidays,
second child, first words, evenings playing at home—
two hundred and fifty gigabytes of memories
carefully recorded
meticulously backed up to the hard drive
whenever a device filled up.
If it had only 3 megabyte pictures
it would have held eighty-thousand of them.
Twenty-two straight hours
of seeing through lenses—
if it only took one second
to realize each moment,
put it on hold,
raise the camera,
and take the shot.
To watch it all in a slide show
would have taken days.
Days of the choicest moments of their life together,
times when they interrupted what was happening
to record a piece of it, trusting
they would always have the piece.

Seven years of life
perched treacherously on the piano.
little feet climb the bench
small hands find the hard drive
curious fingers fumble.
It tips,
it totters,
it falls to the ground.
It looks unharmed, but it’s not working.
They ship it out, they get a quote.
“Fourteen hundred dollars?!”
They think of seven years.
“We won’t miss the money,
but we will always miss the memories.”
And they’re right.
A tax return comes through.
They decide
and give the go-ahead, hoping,
willing to do without to resurrect
the memories.
Weeks pass, an email comes:
the drive is broken beyond repair—
and seven years go out with the trash.

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