BellaOnline Literary Review
Eagle Landing by Albert Rollins


All The Suitcases In Cars and Closets

Phibby Venable

You cross the land mines of middle age
to kiss me goodbye
I tuck your enthusiasm into the pocket
of my housecoat, my eyes smile
you out of my sight, then break
into the reality of hard water
You report back, good weather, clear skies,
the sun of youth striking
through the back window where your bags,
spilling your future, are colorful and easy
to lift into new homes.
My suitcase is packed in the closet,
swimsuits and white linen folded,
among the bubble pipe and bubble soap
I long to blow into the shimmer of colors.
Among the long thin scarfs to tie back my hair
on the imaginary beach that I may find
someday soon, when my own mother
no longer totters through saw grass,
cutting her feet into the grave soil,
When my house learns to wait
and swallow her losses,
when no more strays watch
through the dog lot bars
waiting for a rescue or at least a run
down by the river.
You phone your arrival twelve hours later,
tired but easing your youth between the sheets
that will bring you to a painless morning.
Here, my mother is rising in a crouch
of arthritis, and I am stiff for a moment
like a reminder of twenty years further on
This is the middle ground, my darling,
my beautiful girl of unaware longing,
I slip a money order into the mail
I send it happily for your survival,
the one in blue skies,
the one in sun,
the one that I cannot find
in this hopelessly ready back pack
of obligations.

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