Old Bags

By Susan Harlan

Photo: Susan Harlan

This is my luggage collection, most of which
is from the middle of the last century
or roundabouts – some later perhaps:
floral hat box in blues and greens (large);
light blue hat box (medium);
three train cases: yellow, light blue (with monogram DLR),
and tan with brown piping;
light blue Samsonite shoulder bag;
cream marbled Samsonite suitcase (medium);
light blue Starline suitcase (medium);
Penguin Travellers tapestry suitcase (soft-sided and small);
white suitcase with light blue piping,
lined with Eiffel Tower and Arc de Triomphe fabric (small);
brown mock-leather Samsonite suitcase, with monogram J.A.B. (medium);
Samsonite Saturn tapestry shoulder bag in cream, pink, and brown;
large red Samsonite suitcase and red Samsonite briefcase;
two olive green Airway suitcases (large and medium);
brown Samsonite suitcase (large);
two Coach Stewardess bags – dark brown and tan, both scuffed.
They all suggest elsewhere, as empty bags do.
Once they belonged to other people,
so they are not just mine.



Susan Harlan’s writing has appeared in venues including The Guardian US, The Paris Review Daily, The Toast, Roads & Kingdoms, The Common, The Morning News, Curbed, Queen Mob’s Tea House, Avidly, The Hairpin, Public Books, and The Awl. She teaches English literature at Wake Forest University, and her book Luggage will be published with the Bloomsbury series Object Lessons on March 8.






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