Those Years on the Ship

posted December 2, 2010

I don’t like to look into the trunk in the attic
The one behind the dirty plastic baby toys
The one with the rounded top
Manufactured for long trips on steamers during the gilded age
Rounded like the shells of mussels
Lovely but useless for a coffeetable
I don’t want to unpack it
I don’t want my kids to find it
And see that girl
Dancing in a white dress with a strange man
Not their father
Not their friend

What is it about the nature of desire
That makes it turn on itself
Chasing its own tail?

There were no steamer trunks on our ship
But every time we circled back home,
We each procured some necessary artifact
A stuffed animal
A first edition
The CD with the song that jumped from ear to ear
Like a flea
I want to love those years.
I want to squeeze the sourness out of my muscles
And memory
And feel again what it felt like
To fly
Or, short of true flight
The illusion of it.

Nerissa Nields
Nov. 16, 2010

The Comments

Join the Conversation. Post with kindness.

  1. I dream about those days.
    Those days in that box.
    Tied up, packed away.
    Filled with snowy memories.
    Orange walls, green floors.
    Icy fields.
    Drafty windows.
    The cold in every corner

  2. I can relate to this so strongly.

    I know the music from your past can still make me remember the good times of my misspent youth. I hope we both can look back at “those days” and not feel the pain so acutely.

  3. Eloquent, clear poem.
    Such clarity illuminating being here in life
    and having had those experiences
    having those experiences enclosed in the past
    not integrated or woven into the present existance

    must resonate with just about everyone
    who has a past life of experience
    that gives birth to where we are today.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Read More Like This