Once upon a time a troll gave me a gift.
“The day you die, you will open this box,” she said.
I cast it into a nearby stream and watched it float away.
It was waiting for me the next morning in my childhood closet.
I nearly opened it at University the night of my first true heartbreak.
…and after our first real fight (it met the wood-burning stove that night).
…and when I lost my job.
…and when I lost her.
My lonely, arthritic hands tremble as I chuck it into the bin on this cold Christmas morn.