A soft-sided, well worn, briefcase
sits slouched in a closet corner,
one side agape, a red lanyard
hastily stuffed inside –
A row of black, brown and gray
pumps line up beside it, a thin
layer of dust betraying idleness.
Silent, unblinking, a television
recedes into the wall, flanked
by images of smiling faces –
shadows of nostalgia.
Stacks of books and journals
rumour a once scholarly mind.
The woman, once defined
by these trivialities,
is no longer here.
She has been called to another purpose.
(The Pilgrimage was first written in December of 2014, as I came to terms with the loss of my career due to ME/CFS. Now, as we embark on a new path, I find the poem has new relevance. This version is edited from the original.)