Going Away



Strolling on the beach with my son
yesterday, sun licking our faces, a sparkling sea
washed over our feet. I breathed a prayer:
Thank you. Thank you for this day.

Fronds of seaweed licked the tidal sands, flickered,
returned twirling on the next wave.

A little boy, maybe ten years old–freckles,
sandy hair, nose
buried in a melting ice-cream cone–wailed:
My ice-cream is going away! It’s
going away!
His mother looked bemused.

Vanilla ice-cream dripped, a bone-white froth
down his fingers. His mouth a jagged sob, face
flushed, furious with refusal.

All month, since I moved from my beloved
home, a ten-year-old in me has wailed:
My home is going away! It’s going away!

Next month, my son, my beautiful baby
boy-six feet tall now, and married to his love-
is going away. A new city will hold him
in its lap. A new home. He’s going

away. No no no no no. They’re all
going away.


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