Poem: The Unpacking of Trunks

The Unpacking of Trunks

It has taken a long time, this unpacking of trunks,
each one opened with trepidation,
aware of why they were packed in the first place,
aware of what is in there and the damage done back in the day,
unsure of just how angry the beasts in each one might still be,
unsure of whether they still have teeth, or
in their long imprisonment, they have lost their zeal to harm.

Mostly they have. You should have known that
when they went into the trunks with nary a fight.
Beasts grow weaker when you don’t feed them.
Most, in fact, are wisps. When you open the trunk
dust and moths fly out. There is silence instead of noise.

One by one, you unpack them. Most, you realize,
you can toss. Those once so important things
now nothing but dust and tatters. Ready for the bonfire.
And the few that still tug at you, or growl?
Let them. Pack the tuggers away for another day,
a melocholy day where memories are needed.
Toss the growlers on the fire with the rest.

Watch the flames dance. Higher and higher in the night.
A fire to dance around like a drunken druid.
Higher and higher, And then, to finish the night,
you toss the empty trunks on the flames,
happy your need for the attic is no more.

About this poem

Last night, I told my wife I have not felt inspired lately. I still write because it is good for me. I write because it’s therapy. I write so I do not lose the skill. But I have not been inspired. Instead, I have been unpacking baggage, history. Old emotions. When I stumbled on this picture this morning, it seemed the perfect metaphor. I actually felt, dare I say it? Inspired.


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