What do you carry and why?

Posted: August 22, 2013 in Poetry

My mum has a walk-in larder,
a compulsive eater’s heaven and hell.
Among many, many, many other things
it contains 22 jars of pesto.
She says she’s preparing for an epidemic.
The larder, a steadfast panacea in more than one world.
In what can only be, inherited neuroticism,
(I like to think of it as the height of organisation)
I entertain a Mary Poppins-esque handbag.
The steely stalwart in my life,
that renders me ready for any situation, on pandemic scale.

I don’t like to be anywhere without water
lest I might expire in the UK’s desert climate,
or randomly choke on air.
Mints – everyone needs mints,
they are better than prescription drugs,
when it comes to calming an anxious mind.
My favourite part is the bag within a bag (of which there is more than one).
The make-up bag, mine has ducks on, and the zip broke long ago.
It contains all the things that might make me look better
(when dealing with desert / arctic conditions or the aftermath of choking).
Elizabeth Arden eight hour cream, the solution to many a quandary,
Hand gel –  because who knows who had your shopping trolley before you?!
Borrower-sized hair product – important for that dragged backwards through hedge look.
Spare hairbands, plasters, and Yves Saint Laurent Touche Eclait pen.
The second bag within a bag, is just an empty bag, for green shopping moments.
Get an umbrella in there too – go on!

Of course there are instances where a bag,
nearly as heavy as its owner, is just not practical.
When ‘stepping out’ and by this I mean
All-night, crazy, having it out with yourself, disco-dancing.
I can survive on a hand-held purse, on
lip balm, plastic money and a door key.
Liberating occasions, where the aforementioned contents
and more, are left with gay abandon,
On the kitchen table.
I go about, willy-nilly, without a care in the world.
It’s like that feeling when you go on holiday and think
“Well, all I really need is my passport.”
Everything else, you can buy, (as long as you have your wallet!)
so why bother…Well I’ll tell you. Sometimes, it’s not just about what’s inside,
sometimes, it’s just about the bag.


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