Wednesday, December 09, 2009

Giving Care


Up in the attic yellow elephants, who love to go places, dance tail to trunk on my well-worn suitcases. They wear square hats on their heads and gold rugs on their backs. Exotic flowers and bits of squiggle are printed all ‘round the red cloth background. I’m afraid they feel dreary with the dust and the motes, the awful old smell of boxes and bags of who knows what, that’s been who knows where, and besides, there’s barely any air up there.

Neglected, yes, but it can’t be helped. My life’s in a time when I’m sore needed and I’ve happily heeded, but those cases are sad. I think they’d say the blame’s on me-these years that they’ve been up and I’ve been down in this quite nice house. At least they’re close to one another. One’s right inside the other.

They are meant to go. They can roll, you know. Inside them are pockets, zippers, and netting for keeping my shampoo and small things from slipping. They’d grown used to my clothes, their scents and their folds. They hate the wait. I know they do ‘cause I do too. Yet, I dread the day we can again go play. Before we can leave, I’ll have had to grieve.

We will go again, to Argentina or Spain. I’ll unpack in Venice, within sight of San Marco. We might take a boat to Tierra del Fuego. We’ll go to Scandanavia, Istanbul and Moravia. Take ferries and trains, drive on highways and lanes, and when we stop for breath, I’ll mourn Dad’s death. Near a sea’s cool blue calm, I’ll mourn again for Mom.