Wednesday, June 23, 2010

6/1/2010 – Day Fifteen of England Tour: We've Come 360

So here we are:

Early-morning risers

And globetrotting returnees

To the soil that Chris Columbus

Stole from Native Americans

(Total spotted-dick move on his part).

And I’m still “that girl”—

The one with the massive luggage

Flagged as “HEAVY” at the airport.

Thanks a lot, mom.

Once upon some time ago

I made a scrapbook of souvenirs—

The covers are chocolate wrappers

And the pages are notepad stickies—

And inside it goes

Movie and theater tickets,

Brochures and receipts,

Boarding passes and ticket stubs,

Breakfast cards for hotel diners,

Postcard ads and souvenir tags;

Tickets from King Lear, Blood Brothers,,

Warwick castle and the British Museum,

Receipts from various Italian pubs,

Tags from store-bought wooden swords,

Rosetta Stone scripts from the water bottle box;

A boarding pass for 25A,

A Travelcard for three days of May;

Tickets to Shakespeare’s house and gardens,

A guest key card to Hotel St. Giles;

There’s the heritage pass, which came in handy,

And the student ID, which I never once used;

Some labels I tore off bottles of water—

We all have our quirky habits—

Basically anything useless and trivial

Provides a means for me to document

Places I’ve been, things I’ve done,

Sort of like a multitude of passport stamps,

Only with no security system

That requires you to remove your belt

And any form of jewelry—

Though I did manage to get my arrow-shaped pen

Through security without a stampede of cops

Tackling me down on suspicion of terrorism

(I’d say, I’m not even Muslim, dagnabbit,

And the pen was from Tintern Abbey. Blame them!).

Fourteen days of hours-long coach rides,

Guided tours, finance-draining shopping sprees

And less-than-sanitary conditions

Within hostels and public restrooms

Has led us back to where we started—

Not the same airport,

But same system, same process,

Falling asleep to the in-flight movie,

With drawn-up knees in ear-popping altitude,

Head on shoulder of the fellow vagabond

Who followed me to London, from London and back—

It’s like déjà vu, 360 in scope.

The journey’s not over

Just because we’re heading back.

We know what to look forward to

When we return someday—

Come hell or high water,

I will return.

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