lenten journal: handle with care


    Ginger and I spent most of the day today at my parents’ house going through things and identifying stuff we want as they prepare to move from their house where they have lived for thirteen years, to a much smaller apartment. The journey through boxes, shelves, cabinets, and closets was a roller coaster of discovery and memory, and a chance to tell stories. One of the surprises was this old blue suitcase, which I found in the closet under the stairs and remember using when I was very young; inside were quilts my dad’s grandmother made out of his mother’s dresses. His mother died soon after he was born.

    And that was just one of the surprises.

    pokea kwa utaratibu
    (handle with care)

    in the closet under
    the stairs of your heart
    is an old blue suitcase
    even though you are
    in the middle of moving
    the idea of more baggage
    is never appealing
    still you set it down
    snap the silver locks
    and lift the lid
    to find hand stitched
    quilts made of dresses
    your grandmother
    might have worn
    to visit had you ever
    had the chance to meet
    you take the blanket
    out of the baggage
    and wrap it around
    your shoulders
    pulling it up over
    your nose to smell
    for even a trace of
    what might have been
    or what is to come
    and then you fold it
    and put it back
    close the suitcase
    and try to prepare
    for the next journey
    to say goodbye



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