And the story it goes,

It goes something like this:

Piles of parcels

Packed to the brim

Filled with the bundles

Of her loneliness and grim.

Prospects and futures

Cartons and loads

The burdens she carrying

Grows and grows.

As I’ve told her before,

And I’ll tell her again,

“Those look pretty heavy. Do you need a hand?”

And she always replies, with a sad sweet grin

“These are all mine. From beginning to the end.”

I wanted to grab one—just one—and help her along.

But she refused.

She didn’t budge.

She trudged along each day.

Carrying her cargo on her back

In her arms

Wrapped around her toes

Rows and rows of packages.


Piles upon piles.

Littering the ground as she walked around

I could see she was suffocating.


Smothered in the hatred for herself.

Her life.

The lies she told to keep going.

To keep pushing on.

To keep moving along.

She was so weighed down

I could see her crown

Bound to her ankles.

I sighed.

I had to ask.

I needed to know.

“Why are you the chambermaid in your own life story?”

She stopped herself.

She looked down.

She looked all around at the mess they made.


Piles of parcels.

Piles of packages.

Piles of bundles.

Piles and piles and more piles.

Miles of life wrapped up in plain paper.

Trials of her strife covered in boxes.

She was contained.

She was confined.

She was controlled.

This was easier this way.

Keep it locked up. Packed away.

“A box is meant to hide the day’s unrest.”

“Did you know that?” She asked.

In jest with myself, I realize it now.

She was looking at my piles and boxes.

My miles of burdens.

Mine were just gift-wrapped

With makeup,

And purses,

And dresses.

With hair bleached and burned till the ends sizzled with disappointment.

Mine weren’t any better than hers.

I was just better at disguising mine as an accessory.

“Are you free? “ She asked.

“Free?” I said, with a laugh.

I’ll never be free with all these piles.


Freedom to a woman looks like

A prison to complacency.

Freedom to shout?

Freedom to scream?

Freedom in equality?

Freedom to be what I wanted to be

Without this shadow of being

All the things we women who speak out loud get told we are to be.

So she sighed.

And I sighed.

“I’m tired.” She said.

“Me, too”. I said.

So we sat down.

Slumped on the ground.

Backside to backside.

Surrounded by the deafening sound of our silence

And piles and piles of packages and parcels.

“Let’s open one.” I told her.

“Yours or mine?” She asked.

“One of each” I said.

With a deep breath, we pried them open.

Only to discover

With shudder,

They were empty.














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