Rhyme of the Ancient Flyer

Last week, my mom calls me at work.

“Ruti. Please. Do not humiliate us.”

Pause. “Can you be more specific?”

“When you come to San Francisco.”

“I shouldn’t humiliate you in San Francisco.”

“Please. You know what I’m talking about.”

I wait for enlightenment.

“Please. Bring luggage.”

“I do bring–”

“Not a purse. Luggage.”

“I pack light.”

“You have humiliated us enough.”

“You want me to bring luggage.”


“Even if it’s empty.”


I LOATHE luggage. But I unearthed my blue carry-on, and I packed it with three garments. And I dragged it from coast to coast like an albatross.

I learned something valuable, which I’m gonna share with you now.

An albatross weighs more than a purse.

Stuck forever in a room, a statue with no body and a statue with no head. Unable to move or speak. A charming fragment of eternity.

Trapped together, a bust without a body and a statue without its head. A bench without a person. No dinner conversations here.


About sputnitsa

Born in the US, I grew up in Africa and the West Indies, and returned stateside in my teens. After a decade in international development, democracy work, and inclusivity training for domestic NGOs, I joined Peace Corps, and after a year, experienced my first Russian invasion. I followed that up by volunteering with refugees and youth, and after some vacation time climbing minarets and mountains, I returned to New York City, where today I work on social justice with college students, produce short films, and write.
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