Tuesday, May 23, 2006


In my house is an old desk, and one drawer of it is full of keys. In singles and in bunches on rings, five pounds of them, and no one now living has any idea what they unlock.

Well-worn keys, jingled and handled by the same hands every day for a lifetime. Some bear tags, which make them more meaningless. "Ernest's garage." There is no Ernest in our family tree.

Keys to lost luggage, keys to old farmhouses, to gun cases, pianos, keys to a trunk full of love letters -- who knows? Mute keys made of dumb iron.

Here are a few of them. Click for larger views.