Upon My Back

I carry my past in a backpack

Holding everything I can remember.

From a time when I was young and just learning how to ride a bike

To the day I wrote my first story

And the afternoon I spent painting myself completely blue.

Over time a few things have fallen out

Here and there.

Along the way I’ve forgotten some things

Like the name of my second grade teacher and my old addresses.

But there are some things that I just can’t shake loose

No matter how hard I try

Or how much I may want to.

Like the love of a friendship long since lost

The hatred in your eyes and cold shoulders at every turn.

The feeling of your hand in mine

The taste of you left in my mouth

But the warmth of your hand became the lick of a whip across my face like icy fire

The taste of your lips, the sweetness, is history

It’s soured and rotten and has me sick.

The slamming of a door that once meant home and welcome

Has come to mean fear.

So I shut the door quietly

Tiptoe with bated breath

Not wanting to make a sound.

The creak and thud of a footstep gives me pause

Heartbeat quickening

I freeze, ears straining.

I carry my past in a backpack

And I long for a time when it wasn’t so full

When it was light as air

Full of radiance.

I carry my past in a backpack

Too heavy to bear

Dragging behind me

It shows where I’ve been

Walking in circles

As I try to find where I’m going.

I carry my past in a backpack

Waiting for the weight to fall out

Wanting it to lift from my shoulders

Bringing me freedom at last.

~ Quill


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