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  • Caroline Wright

On packing your bags

Just before and immediately after the passing of my husband, I was surrounded by birds. There were symbols of birds, metaphorical birds, and also real, feathered ones that made homes in unexpected places. While the bird signs have been less these days, I still have a few reminders, like the nest hiding next to the breakfast nook window of my soon-to-be new home. Yes, I’m moving. In less than 14 days I will be out of the place where “Dating a Poet” was born, where I settled just after Michael went away, and where I dusted off my own feathers and learned to fly again. Away from the place I spent countless hours writing, editing, and updating the chapters of my life (quite literally), and the space where I got the call about my newest job. People have asked me why I’m moving, and my best answer to them is this: hope. I mean, what else is there (besides a loving boyfriend and a good job)?



The great woods let out a howl while its wolves stay silent. Calm feels miles away, yet peace lurks, perhaps left over from a seemingly uneventful morning. Window shutters tap, tap, tap; then, nothing. Wind eases, and begins again. Eases, begins.

Lovers huddle under a blanket near a cold stone fireplace, preparing for nightfall, full of promises to soothe another day and its wind, at least until dawn. Tomorrow

both will begin again,

both will begin.


I hope my new nesting spot is comfortable, safe, warm, and filled with utter happiness, so I can continue to be comfortable, safe, warm, and happy as I continue to fly through life, with its occasional gale-force winds. That’s the cool thing about hope: it’s just there. It doesn’t ask for anything in advance, nor does it request a thing in return, despite the tremendous pressure we place on it for our own selfish desires. Just as Emily Dickinson predicted in her poem, "Hope is the thing with feathers."

I have prepared for this move in the best way that I can. And that is I have packed my bags full of hope.


Melissa Chan took her love of books, stories, and art and created Literary Book Gifts ( in order for literature lovers to find clothing and bags in a variety of colors, sizes, and designs. Featured is the Emily Dickinson Tote Bag. Melissa has a background in professional graphic design and non-professional background in art history. She has been reading novels all her life and has done some visual illustration on the side for a few years (although we won't be seeing any of these published for now...perhaps in the future?). Great news! Dating a Poet readers receive a 20% discount off of anything in the Literary Book Gifts store with promo code DatingaPoet20! Enjoy!

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