A Briefcase of Memories

suitcaseImage copyright: by Jenifer Altman, Polaroid Love Notes

A briefcase of memories


One solitary over-ripe apple baked in the heat and stifled by its own banality.

The odours of books, leather and fruit.

A vapid, pervasive, emptiness.

A purposeful facade that deceives keen onlookers

But can’t conceal the profound ache

that ebbs and flows throughout each working day.

Compartments of lack; a lament for unfulfilled potential

You were indefatigable in your daily toil, your need to serve

and you deserved a world that reciprocated.

This prose piece was inspired by my father’s brown leather briefcase that I so keenly remember. He worked in a job that he was over-qualified for and under-appreciated in and despite leaving an imprint on many people, he never got the chance to fulfill his potential in a career of his choice. I remember opening the suitcase to reveal what he took for lunch each day,  (a few pieces of fruit) and thinking about how he must have felt going to work each day, feeling a sense of emptiness, worrying about how to pay the petrol on the way home and knowing that he wasn’t fulfilling his full potential. The piece reflects a quintessential struggle many migrants experience: having to compromise their own desires in a new country in order to provide for their family.



duskLight filters through the translucent haze.

Shadows flit and the feeble sunbeams lilt and flicker. Meandering through the dream, mind adrift and thoughts untethered.

The urban dance holding its breath as if caught unawares. Standing still ever so briefly to provide: wisdom in pockets of peace that are bite-size.

And with each exhale the gratitude swells in my heart

Image copyright- by Jenna Altman From Polaroid Love Notes