Freight

These boxes where we keep old bits of self
old cassettes in their cases, gathering dust
re-taped and hauled from house to house

The wild songs we packed down and forgot
and the instruments unplayed, unstrung
these boxes where we keep old bits of self

Corners crushed, cardboard crumbling—
but we stack and shove and shrug at the piles
re-taped and hauled from house to house

Are they dreams we can’t let go, so
pack them on ship and train and truck
these boxes where we keep old bits of self?

And if we opened them, would we know
how they rot or worm or lose all sense
re-taped and hauled from house to house?

We are not finished. Let’s make some room.
Let’s burn and scatter the ashes of youth
these boxes where we keep old bits of self
re-taped and hauled from house to house

A phrase from Quickly that caught my attention: “boxes where I keep.” 

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13 thoughts on “Freight

  1. I keep nothing, so this poem is a view into another way of doing things. Makes me think. I push my memories out the door so fast they can’t even protest? I don’t like to look back much. As I said, this one is making me think!

    Liked by 1 person

      1. I’ve always been a person who wanted to “travel light” but I have accelerated this recently. Spurred on by the Marie Kondo book. The “sparking joy” aspect of possessions really has cleared out my house and I have been applying it to my mind, too. I feel better keeping things to a more minimum kind of way.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This is a masterpiece! I’ve read it several times today. The repetition is fantastic as are the introspective thoughts. Thanks to my husband, we live with very minimal stuff but I hold onto my mental stuff far too much, revisiting and wearing the box corners thin. I can’t tell you how much I love this!

    Liked by 1 person

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