Woman with the Red Carry-On

Jacqueline Jules

She wheels a red carry-on
hardly higher than her knee,
not much wider than her waist
as I watch with wonder,
wishing I could do that,
could take essentials only.
Leave behind the extra black dress
packed in case I feel fat
in the print I planned to wear.

Why must I take six undies
for a two night stay? A spare
blouse in case I spill my coffee?
A second pair of shoes,
in case a heel breaks? 

Why can’t I be that woman
with the red carry-on?
Stepping through the airport
back straight, chin up
confident I have
everything I need
to face the world
away from home.


About the Author

Jacqueline Jules is the author of three chapbooks: Field Trip to the Museum (Finishing Line Press), Stronger Than Cleopatra (ELJ Publications), and Itzhak Perlman’s Broken String, winner of the 2016 Helen Kay Chapbook Prize from Evening Street Press. Her work has appeared in over 100 publications, including Lowestoft ChronicleThe Paterson Literary ReviewCider Press Review, Potomac Review, Inkwell, Hospital Drive, and Imitation Fruit. Visit her online at https://metaphoricaltruths.blogspot.com/