07 February 2023

Unfinished, Un-Named, Enough

Rice straw

I am standing in a sea of boxes,
wave after wave demanding my feet and
pulling me into undercurrents.
I am standing in a field of boxes,
boxes posed like lynx ready to pounce when
I traverse environments no longer mine.
I’ve stranded myself in a maze I made–
I accumulated.  I’m not lost, but
buried, and I have to dig out and breathe.
Please wait awhile more. Wait!  I gasp, I beg
the boxes I haven’t seen since I last moved,
21 years ago—years of adding
clumps of folders for each job held, each class
taught, each project undertaken.  So many
clusters of drafts and letters for each grant written . . .
Piled to the ceiling, they take me captive
in the straw-filled room a Rumplestiltskin
might spin into gold for a nameless Queen.
Me.  Nameless, unknown, I am the frightened Queen
and her greedy King.  I am the Miller who
sold me into labor, and I am the straw.
I am Rumpelstiltskin demanding my
first born.  Your never-born, the boxes mock. 
This is no sea, no field, only a barren room. 
What can I do?  Slowly, I dig for air,
surprised to pause and examine photos
I uncover along the way.  It’s time,
I say to no-one in particular.
It’s time to reject the relics’ judgment.
Relics neither name me nor rule this place.
I do.  It’s time to disregard the weight
of past dreams.  It’s time to discard boxes,
to shred their contents, to clear sea and fields
that I’ve let define me all these years. I
will tackle the TOO MUCH stuffed in to each
box  I’m stronger than the undercurrents
Following the lead of my soul I will steady,
love, and name myself.  What if no one else
knows?  No matter.  I will go with the light.

My blog poems are rough drafts.
Please respect my copyright.

© 2023 Susan L. Chast


Sherry Blue Sky said...

I so relate to this poem. We spend so many years accummulating, only to divest ourselves of excess as we age. I have down sized four times now and still have too much stuff. It does feel good to let stuff go. I really like this poem.

pc said...

Been there, done that.
Need to again.