A blog is an autobiography written as you're reading it.

Packing Suitcases

I don’t know. I hesitate to declare this poem a diamond-standard poem, as I feel like it needs some more percolating to really claim that title. And while Blank Sheet of Paper was very loud and assertive about its diamond-ness, this poem is quieter , more of the style of Waiting or Despedida. Without further ado, Packing Suitcases:

Today, I am packing suitcases.
Cramming my bags full of t-shirts and trinkets,
Packing my life into three blue suitcases
That are torn and dingy from so much traveling.
The bags are filled to the top, but the rest is what’s important:
All of the things I decided that I will live without:
That just aren’t important enough to shove in a bag.
Everything I pick up is a decision, deciding
If this is important enough to pick up and move.
But finally, after hours of decisions, I’m done.
The key is ready to lock up for the last time
The floors are swept and the marbles gone from under the couch.
All of my life is crammed into those suitcases, and yet
Even with all the todos neatly crossed off
I’m still not ready to pick up the bags and leave.
Because people don’t fit into lists and you know it.
I don’t want to leave home yet, and so I wait around
Trying to spend all the time I can with the people I love.
Not wanting to say goodbye, and not strong enough for despedida.

Moving is wrapping up half your life in packaged bags,
And holding the other half tightly with both arms.
Of course you never want to leave people behind,
Because people don’t fit into suitcases, and
Neither do friendships.
How can all the hours we’ve shared fit in a suitcase?
Hiking through the woods looking for an adventure,
If it’s the right type we’ll get our shoes muddy.
Walking through parks and blazing new trails,
Scaring the pigeons and watching kids play.
Exploring old bookstores, poking our noses in books,
Struggling through schoolwork and papers and tests,
Fueled by generous helpings of coffees and tea.
All those little pieces, layered and layered on days
Fragments and memories of messy, mixed-up Life
Beautifully overlapping in a slipshod harmony,
Tasting little moments that make up a year and a half
(Which is not a whole lot of time, but enough to make you
Realize that you don’t ever want to say goodbye)

So I hug you real tight and I say my goodbyes
We make it through despedida and we walk apart,
Ready for the next chapter and the words it will bring.
And meantime, there’s Skype and lots of stamped letters.
But meantime will end, soon enough, and then we can
Pick everything up right where we left off, okay?
Right in there with goodbye is the hope of hello:
We’ve got more adventures to tackle together,
More of the tapestry to live side-by-side.
Now I’m ready for goodbyes, because
I know there are hellos coming.

Andrew Joyce