Ode to an Antique Suitcase

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Ode to an Antique Suitcase

Oh, brave soldier of the world, how

you have been beaten and abused

by sojourns into unknown realms, dragged

behind exhausted wanderers,

kicked beneath hotel beds, tossed upon

the tops of bus racks, dropped down staircases,

slammed against others beneath the airless

storage compartments of airplanes.

Your canvas exterior

is grizzled and frayed, bearing

faded stickers

like medals of honor, proof

of brave entry into Singapore and Geneva,

Barcelona and Sao Paolo,

Tokyo and Timbuktu. Your brass

corners are tarnished and dented

as scar tissue. Your yellowed silk

lining is abandoning its proper placement

like hair on a balding head.

Your leather handle is gnarled

as arthritic hands, latches as untrustworthy

as an old man’s knees.

My dear companion of wayward roads,

how you have weathered storms,

born indignity grit and grime and mud.

You have earned this reprieve, this chance

Retirement upon a shelf. Stand battered

and proud, evidence that distances

may be spaned, that there can become here,

that journey itself

is the point. Keep watch, friend,

over the settled and sedate,

and gently scold them, become

a reproof of stasis, an acknowledgement

of their secret longing

for places not yet been.

________________________

Note: This poem was written in response to @Lee_Rudolph's prompt, "antique suitcase."

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