Pack your bags

No matter what you do
take it upon yourself to travel
catch a train and jump off whenever
it stops
you might not have much
time to enter every cathedral
when the organist is practicing
and the afternoon sunlight is
shining through God’s arms
kneel down like you mean it
even if you’ve never sung a hymn
to yourself, and count your blessings

eat ratatouille
say French words like voilà and moi bien
smoke gitane cigarettes
drink lemonade while you lounge
topless on the beach in Biarritz
ride a scooter but don’t get too close
to the edge

hold your passport near your heart
and come back to me

~ Merrill Edlund

Merrill Edlund was a high school teacher in Calgary for thirteen years before moving back home to the prairies. She now lives and teaches in Saskatoon. These poems are from her first manuscript titled “a dissimilar memory”.

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