Tuesday, November 27, 2018

"Unpacking List" by Yoni Hammer-Kossoy, Poet of the Week

Unpacking List
Yoni Hammer-Kossoy

Three days later 
our suitcase arrives
without fanfare or apology,
and as I dump
a spent mess of clothes
into the washer
it feels like I’m swiping
through photos
on someone else’s phone.
Is this all that’s left
of a week away?
A wine-stained t-shirt
from when we watched
the sun set 
in astonished hush?
Four sodden socks
after a mad dash
across cobblestones?
A fistful of red rocks
clatter from my bathing suit
and I suddenly remember 
the naked sea
so cold, so salty.

Poet’s Notes:  As the inimitable George Carlin put it, "Sometimes you leave your house to go on vacation. And you gotta take some of your stuff with you." Indeed, packing for and planning vacation often seems to take more time and effort than the actual trip itself. And what about when you come back from vacation? It's truly unsettling how fast I usually find myself sliding back into the normal day-to-day routine of things. This poem is a reflection on the dynamic of going away and coming back, and the surprises that sometimes make unpacking more than just a physical act.

Editor’s Note:  I will add that in the act of unpacking, sometimes I wonder if I have truly returned home or if I just left my true home... 

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