There’s a suitcase on either side the bureau.
There’a suitcase on either side the bed.
The apartment is small – no room for storage.
Suitcases must make do.
A life, once full, keeps shrinking.
My life. Your life.
Camping out, now.
Waiting for the end.
Our baggage of earthly remains.
Carry-ons no longer new,
bearing signs of wear,
tattered, with taped-up tears,
zippers no longer zippable.
Lest I forget, hand-written tags
remind me of the contents.
Sweaters, stockings, sweatsuits. Gloves.
Tangible pieces of intangible memories.
The orange cashmere sweater,
a small dark-brown stain
left by coffee downed in too much haste,
on the matching silken scarf,
harks back to meetings with a sister-city mayor.
A nondescript frayed garment,
disgraceful my son would say,
figuratively and literally “holy”,
treasured for its warmth
when worn as underclothing
on chilly winter days.
Gloves of all kinds. Some grieving
for a lost companion.
Some, long at the wrist, are fingerless,
in obeyance of computer dictates.
Woolen stockings, toes mended
in whatever yarn,
regardless of the color,
survived a foray into the sewing box.
There will be an hour
when my days of camping out
come to their conclusion.
My suitcases and their contents
by evanescent memories.
I hope to keep that day
and fill just one more carry-on
– inevitably to be left behind –
before I go.