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  • Elena Slominski

Emotional Baggage Claim

Lay me down, unzip my soul,

Help me unpack this heavy mind.

Neatly folded beneath the clothes,

Is all the pain I couldn’t leave behind.

A carry-on filled with darkness,

We stuff it into the overhead space;

Pretending the passport in our pocket

Can transport us to a happy place.

Yet we can’t outrun what has been done;

Our healing always calls us home.

But how do you learn to trust again

When turbulence is all you’ve known?

So we stand once more at baggage claim,

Anxiously waiting on our own

To collect our hurt, our grief, our shame,

Only to realize – we’re not alone.

Maybe someday, when you are ready,

You’ll meet someone there who understands.

They’ll say “Hey, that looks pretty heavy,

I’ll help you carry; let me give you a hand.”

By Elena Slominski

Elena has lived and studied all around the world, including Germany, New Zealand, Norway, and the U.S. She enjoys both visual and performing arts, especially photography, poetry, charcoal, dance, and improv theatre. She is currently pursuing a PhD in Social Ecology at UCI.

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Mar 28, 2021

I recently saw a tweet that went like "instead of emotional baggage, call it an emotional griefcase" which attracted me to this poem. I like how you wrote "But how can you learn to trust again, / When turbulence is all you've known?" I relate heavily to your words and the ending made me smile :-)!! Thank you for sharing this!

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