grief in a suitcase

grief is like a suitcase
not the new type
manufactured of molded plastic
with rollers
and an extendable aluminum handle
it is like the old leather kind
forced into a rectangular shape
with a leather strap handle
And brass corner guards
attached with rivets
like an old steamer trunk

you carry it with you day to day
keeping it close to your side
it’s full and heavy and hard to carry
like a bag of sand
or a cardboard box full of old books
and you lug it with you
everywhere you go
you take it to bed with you
you take it to lunch
you drag it into the shower

sometimes you open it
to confirm its contents
and cry
other times it’s less noticeable
it sits in the corner
sometimes it pops opens on its own
when you stumble over it
in the dark
on your way to the bathroom
or to make some tea
you put it away
out of sight
in the back of the closet
or on a shelf
but it never goes away
you forget about it for a while

Over time it becomes smaller
and lighter
Easier to carry around
Easier to forget about
When you least expect it
You find it again
As time passes it changes
becomes easier to open
you begin to appreciate
its contents
with sadness and joy
and you put away again
for later

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