Suitcases

Once again it is time to go.
It is time for me to leave again.
The suitcases are filling
with the artifacts of my life.

The dress I wore to my brother's wedding.
A painting from our trip to Greece.
The bra I wore when we first made love.
Books I read over and over again.

Scuffed and torn. Patched and taped.
These suitcases have seen better days.
Still I carry them with pride.
I know I can rely on them to safeguard my memories.

The shoes I wore the first time it snowed.
The sculpture of us standing on our heads.
Pictures I took in Central Park. And the jeans
I wore that night we danced til dawn.

the list goes on and my suitcases fill to the brim.
Stubbornly, I sit on them to get them to shut.

Suitcases lined up next to the door.
They signal me like the wind signals a bird.
This is not your nest. Move along.

It will not be hard to leave this place.
Certainly, no harder than the last.

The photograph from girls' night in Neuchatel.
Matches from Cafe St. Ambrose with the
memory of little girl giggles and the
best damn latte I ever had.

These artifacts. These precious things.
I soften their sharp edges with bubble wrap.
Neatly, carefully I tuck them away.
Into my suitcases they must go.

My footsteps echo as I walk through empty rooms.
pulling my scuff marked suitcases along.
I lock the door behind me.
It is dawn and the sun is rising somewhere new.

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