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U3A Writing: Anything to Declare

Joan Miles's poem tells of an occasion when an opened suitcase simply refused to be repacked.

Traveling back from New Guinea thirty-four years ago
Very heavily pregnant with a two-year-old in tow
I was asked this question, 'Anything to declare?'
I calmly answered, 'No, nothing of which I am aware.'
But the contents of that suitcase had the airport looking wrecked.

We'd sat upon that suitcase, my husband, a friend and me
And we'd jammed into that case enough to fill suitcases three
I looked at those spilled contents and cried in utter despair
How dare they upset all your gear and leave you to repack - it's not fair.

Well they had to find another bag, I just couldn't fit it all in
And while doing this my child was racing around and creating a din
And I had a feeling that 'that' officer in future would beware
Of asking a woman with children, "Have you anything to declare?


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