She had accumulated a certain

Amount of “baggage”

She was forced to

Take with her

Where ever she went

It would be



To leave it behind

Make the care, keeping

Of her personal baggage

Someone else’s responsibility


She pictured her baggage as

Brightly colored balls

Floating in a swimming pool






She avoided touching the

Black balls with her

Bare skin

They had a tendency

To snarl


Draw blood

Crunch bone


Neat, tidy labels 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

Examine them carefully


She learned to stretch

Herself thin

Laid herself over 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

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, sound


It would take her



Sometimes weeks

To gather the balls back

Under her control

Wrestle them back under

The surface

Leaving her soaking wet





Black and blue

Sometimes bleeding

Occasionally broken


© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved


12 thoughts on “Baggage

  1. One of the struggles in life is dealing with the past and all the pain it brings. As I read through these words, I keep hoping that she would be free from all the baggage.. if only there was some way those balls could disappear. Or at least, lose their power over her.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. I think Baggage waxes and wanes like the moon– sometimes it stays mostly in the background and sometimes it is more prominent when it is triggered. I don’t know that we are ever really free of it but hopefully we can shrink its hold over us.

      Liked by 1 person

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