Nothing comes back unbroken, unopened, whole -
the way it was on the carousel before.
You see it clearly the first time, crumpled, small
unimpressive, turned inward in withdrawal,
no markers signifying it as yours.
You always label or tie a ribbon -
lurid, impossible to overlook
but there’s not a muted colour even
not a thread on it, as it is given
to the belt where you wait on tenterhooks.
It could easily belong to someone else -
they look the same, bits of dark plastic and zips
lined up nose to tail, on darker carousels.
A tired trooper that quietly chronicles
each wound and triumph of your several trips.
Who predicts what falls apart in transit? -
which ribbons and what colours come undone.
For all you know you’ll stand right beside it
and recognition will come in lurching fits
as the carousel empties one by one.
Your cases don’t always come neatly tied -
there are no yellow ribbons around the tree;
not a single special knot's there to guide.
There’s just this crumpled bag, an endless rideon a loop of blackness, till you pluck it free.
Because I find myself suddenly travelling...Wish you happy reunions with your loved ones that you are meeting this Friday/weekend.