The Traveler

Left shadows of the mountains

With a temp. of ninety-eight degrees

And traveled to the West Coast

One hundred five, without a breeze.

But the heat did not defeat me-

For this special trip I’d known

Was to renew old friendships

With family far from home.

We played and laughed and visited

Ate tons of wondrous food.

To reminisce and have such fun

Did this old gal much good!

Helen gave me an ‘original’

A sculpture done in clay.

Which I will surely cherish

Until my dying day.

Too soon, vacation ended,

As I was preparing to return,

Twilia said “Let’s do up all your laundry”

“Naw” I said, with no concern.

“If you dare to take them dirty

They will surely search your bag.

And you will be embarrassed

When they send up that red flag.”

Sure enough! A blob of black

The X-ray thus revealed,

Then, dreaded ping and flashing red!

The stopping of all wheels.

“Bag search!” they yelled,

All heads shot up, alerted,

And stared down at this helpless soul

Stunned and disconcerted.

Poor Phil.......

Caught in this awful scene-

I’m sure he wished that he could hide

While I acted like a teen.

A giant, six foot six at least,

Arrived with great dispatch.

With practiced hands began the task

My baggage to ransack.

He lifted out a layer or two

In corners reached to feel.

Then came upon the bag of clothes

Twilia’s omen he did seal.

Then Twilia said “I told you so.”

Which set us both a-giggle.

Her warning surely had come true

As my laundry he did jiggle.

The searcher thought, these gals are balmy

Or perhaps they have imbibed.

And we could not control our mirth

We laughed until we cried.

He felt among the dainties

And the ‘culprit’ finally found

The sculpture, fully padded,

In the laundry carefully wound.

He gazed at it in wonder

His amusement did not hide.

As he shook his head and smiled

And stuffed it back inside.

I have sent word back to Helen,

Her clay has enough lead

To set off bells at airports

And make lights flash in red!

Now let this be a lesson-

Unless you crave attention.

Be careful when you travel,

Wash those ‘things’ we do not mention.

May Winkel © 7/30/96