25 Apr 2014


Similar image found on eBay
Pack my life in a suitcase,
like one I had as a child,
with brown cardboard corners
rubbed grey and tin handle rattling,
as it lollops side to side
between silver  flip-clips
which open to display
a retro paper lining...

In first, goes a layer of war-torn sounds
to cower in corners.
Cover them with school uniforms
and scatter primrose memories
of picnics in the woods.

Layer paintings from college
with tears from teen dramas, until
confetti and a wedding veil shroud them
in mists of time, and baby powder scent
sends kisses and cuddles whirling
in ever growing spirals towards adulthood.

Tissue paper days of work and ageing,
of living, of loving, of life itself,
sandwich together as I press down
the lid to preserve my memories.

Margaret at IGWRT's set me off on a strange tack today, with her talk of asylums and artistic impressions...I hope my padded cell is ready?!

 “Write a poem that is full of personal emotion, sentiment, longing, confusion… wherever your mind takes you.”

This was a sentence near the end of the diatribe that I chose to focus on, as the rest was too depressing for words, and the mention of all the suitcases left behind did the rest…


  1. A different take on the prompt, but nonetheless a beautiful and evocative one. Great write!

  2. I think of Grandma's suitcase with the worn corners. I think of all the things I would put in one if I wasn't coming back. Can we pack a life in a suitcase? You make me wonder.

  3. "I press down the lid to preserve my memories." This is a wonderful response to the prompt, Jinksky, and some relief from the topic which everyone has written about so brilliantly. I loved this.

  4. love the nostalgic touch and the beautiful close...

  5. war-torn sounds, wow. well done.

  6. This is really a wonderful memory filled poem. Lovely.

  7. What we see depends on who does the unpacking, doesn't it. I love this approach.

  8. "Tissue paper days of work and aging" Love that. Thanks for sharing your memories.

  9. This is lovely! It really draws a series of pictures that I can relate to.

  10. A great approach. I agree the rest terrible depressing. So hard to fit a life in a bag. Well- chosen items!

  11. I can smell memories in your poem. Beautiful!

  12. fantastic poem with brilliant imagery :)

  13. I love the idea of putting together your memories in an old suitcase ~ We need to hold on to them, no matter what ~

  14. I found myself smiling at the memories held in the suitcase.

  15. We carry more than clothes and things in our suitcases. Loved this, Jinksy!

  16. So tender… this love/life worn suitcase is a perfect metaphor for all the memories we carry in the leathery baggage of skin-bones-blood-cells. Beautiful!

  17. Such memories.. an old suitcase... what a great symbol of a whole life...

  18. Hiya, of your recent pieces, this is the piece that I mile the best. Well chosen metaphor, delicately and meaning fully sustained... Thanks for a good read,,, With Best Wishes Scott www.scotthastie.com

  19. Perhaps every life is no more than layered memories, stored in a cardboard suitcase.


  20. I've passed mine on to the grandchildren... nice piece.

  21. I love this poem. Brilliant!

  22. Lovely lovely lovely - your words made me sigh, but a good sigh!
    Anna :o]

  23. Very different read...
    Covers different aspects of life...
    And I wish somebody packs my life in a suitcase too...

  24. I still have my old school suitcase, packed with memorabilia of a girl I can hardly remember. I really like the way you assembled the items to pack away here.

  25. "In first, goes a layer of war-torn sounds
    to cower in corners." and the whole stanza (really the whole poem) so full of imagery. Yes, this prompt was difficult, but my mind just couldn't let it go - so I thought "write about it". Thanks for a softer side :)