Unpacking (reimagined)

the past sits
in front of me
an old, battered trunk
that I drag reluctantly
with me
from place to place
I keep it
in the attic
like the unwanted 
that it is
covered in cobwebs
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
a butterfly net
a lidded glass jar
studded with carefully
poked holes
are also helpful
you never know
what might try
to escape
the key ring is large
jangling with skeleton keys
for outer and inner locks
other locked boxes
nestle inside the trunk
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 into pieces
and divide them
I am fearless
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
final unpacking
the past is already
leaking out of keyholes
oozing from cracks
in the well-worn leather
it holds the power
to ensnare me
its long sharp
pointed teeth
itching to cut through flesh
draw blood
puncture my bones
creating shards that might
pierce me through
to the rough wood floor
and yet
it is a danger
I choose
to face alone
but I do not want
to have to gnaw
my own flesh
to break free
of my past
I bear enough
of its scars

© 2017 Revised 2019 Christine Elizabeth Ray – All Rights Reserved

3 thoughts on “Unpacking (reimagined)

  1. A strange resonance, perhaps. A quote from Steven King, master of monsters that live within: “The thing under my bed waiting to grab my ankle isn’t real. I know that, and I also know that if I’m careful to keep my foot under the covers, it will never be able to grab my ankle.”


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