Monday, May 25, 2009

the suitcase




At last the front door slams shut.
Familiar footsteps fade
as another door closes
over the sound of a running engine,
growing fainter as it drives down the road.
Frozen immobility changes to a rush
of hurried footstep running up stairs.
Closets and drawers, opening and closing.
Things,
being thrown in an old brown suitcase on the floor.
A mish-mash of favourites and necessities.
Back down the stairs,
the squeaking of sneakers
on tile floors tracing
her movement around house.
In a rush of silence
she feels eternity in those 5 seconds,
as she looks at the door,
breathing deeply,
as feelings of love, lost,
regret and hope
mingle with broken dreams…
She slowly bends down to pick up her stuff,
moves past the door
and determinedly locks it behind her.
Then takes the key off
the keyring
and without looking back
tosses it over her shoulder.
Into her car
with that which she has
and she too drives away

without a backward glance…





52 comments:

  1. This one doesn't tug - it rends the heart strings.

    So much ambivalence - all those contrary feelings.....my own ambivalence used to drive me to distraction and make me crazy.

    Today I have less of it and when I do have it, I understand and accept.

    Thanks Shadow,
    Prayer Girl

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  2. "without a backward glance"

    Ay girl. That one drives it home.

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  3. Oh, I have been there... :) May her rearview mirror become unnoticed and the road she took be different

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  4. Wow, so many meaningful things in such carefully chosen, few words. I wonder what she was running from?

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  5. This is marvelous. Definitely one of my favorites.

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  6. Great story told in a poetic style -- very vivid. I can't really say why but it puts me in mind of a scene from the film "Fried Green Tomatoes".

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  7. I can just picture how the scene plays out in my head... bravo!

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  8. That suitcase, that symbol of defiance and loneliness. This was a heart-tugger.

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  9. Holy hell! I swear this exact thing happened to me. I'm sitting here frozen.

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  10. Shads-i love the speed and then finality of this. I sure am wondering what's inspiring it. ~rick

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  11. This poem is intense and at the same time it pulls my heart but I am not sure why...that's its strength.
    G

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  12. "There are other worlds than this", other doors.
    Which doesn't make the closing of the one left behind any less... slamming.
    poignant poem, Lady S.

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  13. New beginnings can be equally great for all involved. It's not being afraid to start over.

    Love the movement of this piece.

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  14. Tell me about it...

    I'm sure you've read enough of my stuff and understood the "in between the lines context", so I don't think I need to say more than that first line.

    But, thank you for this, you have no idea how much I needed to read it.

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  15. Quick-paced and intense! Loved it!!!

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  16. I've been there before...Not a happy time. You have captured the emotions well :D
    Have a Wonderful Day!

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  17. What a powerful piece. I just had to read it several times. Great stuff.

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  18. Pick me up? I'll be waiting at the corner.

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  19. Ah yes the escape artist. We have all felt like this from time to time.

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  20. I love this theme. A lifetime of memories in a suitcase and a host of emotions in an expression. Very good. You captured it just right.
    Blessings, Star

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  21. I've never done anything that permanent, like tossing the key away...
    I just can't get on that trip.
    I've thought about it in my life, but could never really do it entirely.
    But i suppose if things were bad enough...

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  22. Love this one. Very much puts you in the moment.

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  23. Oh Shadow,

    It sounds familiar so called - determined and stay focus personnel.

    Have a blessed day

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  24. Shadow...seeing as we have just met I hesitate...

    First I like this theme, much more than I can express. Escape, freedom from that which troubles, the loss of fear by overcoming it. You have well presented it here in striking visual images. I especially liked reading

    "the squeaking of sneakers
    on tile floors tracing
    her movement around house."

    because I was not only watching but hearing the escape.

    BUT now I get to my complaint. I read verse quite a bit and the one thing that bugs me is words out of place that tear me away from the flow of the scene.

    "...as she looks at the door,
    breathing deeply,
    as feelings of love, lost,..."

    Did you intend the past tense of the word loss? if so why?

    Then I get to the end and find

    "Into her car
    with that which she has
    and she too drives away"

    While this statement makes sense, to my ear it sounds overly wordy and immediately removed me from the fluid description of her escape.

    Maybe something similar to

    ...over her shoulder.

    Her car door closes
    as she drives away

    without a backwards glance.



    It is a bad habit I have of dissection of what I read.

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  25. So many juxtapositions...
    leaving
    and gone
    I like it..
    it could be so many of us,
    in so many spaces,
    at so many turns in the road.
    ~thanks~

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  26. @ the walking man: not a bad habit, dissect away, nothing wrong with it. as to the past tense of the word loss. it’s meant to be there, (lost) love, a reason?, to break the flow of words, to substantiate the pause she feels, staring at the door…

    "Into her car
    with that which she has
    and she too drives away"
    wordy maybe. but my thinking is that, as with the suitcase of favourites and necessities and the key tossed over her shoulder, it reinforces that she’s leaving, ‘with that which she has’ leaving behind all material and the love, lost, never to return…

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  27. This one brings on so many mixed emotions! I'm happy she left if that's what she needed. I'm saddened to feel she lost a lot by turning away tho. What a distressed feeling of feelings here. And yet somehow there is serenity in her driving away without turning back. Wow.

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  28. hahahahahaha...

    You tell him Shadow Dancing!!!

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  29. I wonder if the desire not to leave is the reason for the lateness and the rush in the final moments. We stayed one minute too long.

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  30. sleek!
    sweet stuff shadow

    challenging and assertive!

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  31. you out did yourself on this one!! extremely well done dear shadow :-) :-) :-) :-)

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  32. suitcase in hand and I'm outta here!

    i really enjoyed this!!!
    :-) :-) :-) :-)

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  33. Been there. Done that. From BOTH sides of that equation. Your words played that tune perfectly.

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  34. It is an interesting iconography that you present here Shadow. It helps somewhat to be able to read the piece through the writers thought process when I am confused. Not that that is a rare occurrence.

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  35. Something about that image engages the reader. Might be the timeless magnetism of the baggage. Every soul is on a journey. One learns when baggage is no longer necessary.Detachment releases fear and attracts love.

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  36. i have actually done this, we left my old, old ex that very way. we snuck out while he was gone it was scary and hard and i had to decide what to take with me and what to leave behind.

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  37. Such finality of perhaps hard a decision to do. Looking back would tantamount to Lot's wife looking back at her troubled-doomed city. Go forward! That is moving ON!

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  38. I've been in this exact situation. You hit it home. I agree with your response to the dissection. I'm not a poet, but in my opinion, very well written.

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  39. Oh Shadow, this just breaks my heart, and yet that's because I know the feeling so well.

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  40. very intense... could feel the pain but at the same time the way she walks rather drive with out a backward glance... i simply loved it :)WOW shadow.

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  41. A dieing sunset dries tears of pain with is blaze of fire so the dawns early light can renew your soul once more

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  42. Loss of any kind is cutting.. this is so deep I suspect the healing will take time ...

    Over from David's to say congrats on the POTD mention!

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  43. Great poem, clever phrasing. I've done this, I know that girl-she's an old lady now but you bought the feeling back.

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  44. Great job! Congrats on the Post of the Day Award from authorblog!

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  45. Came back for a second read and to say congrats on post of the day nomination from David at authorblog. "Lost" was exactly the right word to use...and I agree with the commas around it.

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  46. WOW!! A great post, Shad. I'd love to read more and more on what happens next.

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  47. Heartbreaking for sure! Excellent writing my friend!
    ~Calli

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  48. I missed this one until Mama Zen handed over the pop tart award for it... and well deserved too! Whatever she's running from, I hope what she's running to is better.

    And the last few lines remind me of a song by Jo Dee Messina:
    "Bye-bye now, I'll check ya later
    Got a lead foot down on my accelerator
    And the rear view mirror torn off..."

    Love this darlin'.

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