The Things I Carry

August 15, 2010
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I carry a phone daily
And the weight of being a people pleaser.
I carry a Bible
And a cup of coffee on Sunday morning.
I insist upon carrying lyrics in my head

And a song for my lips,
My own private escape.

Often what I carry varies by time of day
A water bottle before practice,
A good novel that I can’t put down,
An earring that is frantically searching for its mate.
I carry a half written essay, searching for words to complete it,
And a load of books that will inevitably cause back problems one day.

I carry things I’m proud of,
Things I wish I could put down,
Things I enjoy,
And things I sometimes hate.

I carry several keys on my key chain
A set of car keys, perhaps the most desired object by my younger self,
Now taken for granted,
And a key to my house, along with my parents’ trust.

I carry parts of those I love
Their specific lingo,
Their laugh,
Their thoughts on life,
Their trials.

I carry a smile, a frown, a furrowed brow, or a different face,
An obvious mirror of my mood.
I carry a ticket stub in my pocket,
A photograph from my childhood,
A verse about humility that I am seeking to emulate.

I carry a basketball in my hand,
And the responsibility of being a player on a team,
An individual part,
Its function necessary for the success of the whole.

I carry things that are not mine alone.
A borrowed necklace,
A group project,
Groceries from the car,
My last name.

I carry the desire to laugh,
To cry,
To scream,
Or sometimes just to sleep.
When I sleep, I am able to stop carrying,
Until the things I carry slip into my dreams.

I carry the desire to change the world,
Sometimes without the motivation to do anything about it.
I carry my mother’s voice,
Whether or not I want to listen.
I carry my dog in my arms,
And the assurance of unconditional love.

No matter what I do,
I am always carrying
Both things that are tangible and things that are not.
You are what you carry
Seems appropriate to me.

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