Unpacking (Revisited)

The past sits

in front of me

in an old, battered trunk

that I have dragged


these many years

I rarely take it out

of the attic

It is dusty

makes me sneeze

Multiple padlocks and

straps keep the lid

securely in place


Opening this trunk

Requires preparation

I like to have

a chair and a

lion tamer’s whip

nearby just in case

Butterfly net and

a lidded glass jar or two

are also helpful

You never know

what’s going to try

to escape

A box of Kleenex and chocolate are

also standard supplies


The key ring is large

Jangling with skeleton keys

for outside locks

and inner ones

There are other

locked boxes inside

where my history lies

neatly separated

There are times

when the past

does not want to stay

in just one box

or another

I cut these in pieces 


and divide them

I am good

with sharp objects


The keys are always

worn on my person

A heavy weight

I have learned to ignore

tune out

Much like

the ferocious contents

of the trunk itself

I know

that it is time

to start the unpacking

The past is already

leaking out of keyholes

out of cracks

in the well-worn leather


The past holds

the potential

to ensnare me

leaving me trapped

in place

Its long sharp


metal teeth

Puncturing my flesh

the bones of my body

Drawing blood

creating shards that

pierce me


Too isolated

to call out for help

Which I





I do not want

to have to gnaw


my own flesh

to break free

of my past


I bear enough




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