This piece was inspired by a dialogue with another WordPress blogger.  Hopefully I am more articulate this morning than I was last night.  I should not be allowed to operate a keyboard while exhausted.

At her age she had

Accumulated a certain

Amount of baggage

That she was forced to

Take with her

Where ever she went

It would be rude


To leave it behind

To make the care and keeping

Of her personal baggage

Someone else’s responsibility

She pictured her baggage as

Brightly colored balls

In a swimming pool

Red, blue, white, a few black

She avoided touching the

Black balls with her

Bare skin as much

As she could

They had a tendency

To snarl, and bite

Draw blood

Crunch bone

Most had neat, tidy

Labels that identified them:

Recurrent Nightmares

Childhood fears


Bad touch




Unrequited Love


The list went on

There was a white ball

For each of her dead

She did not like

To count the white balls

It made her too sad

She discovered that

It was hard to go about

Her day to day business

With these balls

Pushing their way to the surface

Penetrating her consciousness

Insistent, demanding

Wanting her to curl

Up in a corner

For days at a time

And examine them


So she learned to stretch

Herself thin

And laid herself over all of

The balls, using her body

Weight to keep them

Below the surface


Out of harm’s way

Out of her way

So she could continue the

Day-to-day business

Of being a functional adult

It was a successful

Detente most days

As long as new balls

Were not unexpectedly

Lobbed at her

The occasional ball

She could catch deftly

Tucking it under

A knee or an elbow

Quick introductions made

To its companions

Before turning her

Attention back to the

Living at hand

There were days

Thankfully rare

Where she was


Pelted with new baggage

And could not submerge

These new issues

Securely under her

In time

And they would rise

To the surface

While she would struggle

To subdue these new balls

These new issues

She would lose her


Her careful hold

Of her other baggage

And suddenly balls

Would be popping up

All over the pool

Breaking the surface

Careening over her head

Whizzing past her ear

Bouncing off the ceiling

In a chaotic symphony

Of movement and sound

It could take her

Hours, days, weeks

To gather the balls back

Under her control

Wrestle them back under

The surface

Leaving her soaking wet

Panting, emotionally

And physically exhausted

Black and blue

Sometimes bleeding

Occasionally broken

8 thoughts on “Baggage

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