Unpacking (reimagined)

The past sits in front of me

in an old, battered trunk

that I have dragged around

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


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 and inner locks

There are other locked boxes inside the trunk

where my history lies neatly separated

There are times

when the past does not want to stay neatly

in just one box

or another

I cut these in pieces dispassionately

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 pointed metal teeth

cutting through flesh

drawing blood 

puncturing my bones

creating shards that pierce me through

Too isolated to call out for help

which I  probably wouldn’t do


I do not want to have to gnaw

through my own flesh

to break free  of my past


I bear enough scars



© 2017 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All rights Reserved

7 thoughts on “Unpacking (reimagined)

  1. As with individuals, so, and so much more so, with families. Ancestors, long since gone to dust, but their packed trunks and strong boxes follow us about like needy puppies or stalking tigers. So too with nations and peoples, glories are easily unpacked and displayed, but the traumas received and given remain buried like pirate treasure and radioactive waste, and feared like sleeping dragons whose names must not be spoken lest they wake.


Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s