December 3, 2022
Scotch plaid suitcases, first-used, fresh
as a young man’s clothes, left behind on
the platform, depart Buffalo, thrown on,
two cars behind, the train underway to
enter a haze-filter, sepia-toned twilight.
Months later, out of Istanbul, stuffed with
carpet, copper and hookah, then edited off
a manifest, left behind in plain sight on
the Athens tarmac as the aircraft taxied,
missing the next plane for good measure.
Left behind a third time in Rotterdam, as
ship sailed early to beat September storms
in the North Atlantic. Clothing abandoned
after three days, white togas sailed the sea
with waves over the bow and down the deck.
A race west: MS Seven Seas, sixteen knots,
smallest in scheduled service, twenty years
earlier an aircraft carrier, vs. SS Rotterdam,
twenty-two knots, launched by the queen,
the fleet’s Grande Dame, carrier of lost luggage.
Out of the winner, the Scotch plaids emerged,
ripped, taped, beyond use, carried through
Grand Central Station, hoisted overhead to
Buffalo, walked past the Bison statue, down
a parking ramp, where they are left behind.
© the author
by Eugene Stevenson
Eugene Stevenson, son of immigrants, father of expatriates, lives in the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina. Eisenhower Fellow, Pushcart nominee, & author of The Population of Dreams (Finishing Line Press 2022), his poems have appeared in Delta Poetry Review, The Hudson Review, Red Ogre Review, San Pedro River Review, Tipton Poetry Journal, & Washington Square Review among others.