Published on Academy of American Poets (https://poets.org)


Goodbyes

begin long before you hear them
and gain speed and come out of 
the same place as other words.
They should have their own
place to come from, the elbow
perhaps, since elbows look
funny and never weep. Why
are you proud of me? I said
goodbye to you forty times.
I see your point. That is
an achievement unto itself.
My mom wants me to write
a goodbye poem. It should fit 
inside a card and use the phrase,
“You are one powerful lady.”
There is nothing powerful
about me though you might 
think so from the way I spit.
I don’t want to say goodbye
to you anymore. I heard
the first wave was an accident.
It happened in the Cave 
of the Hands in Santa Cruz.
The four of them were drinking
and someone killed
a wild boar and someone else
said, “Hey look, I put my hand
in it. Saying goodbye is like that.
You put your hand in it and then
you take your hand back.

Credit


"Goodbyes" from The Book of Goodbyes copyright 2013 by "Jillian Weise," BOA Editions, Ltd., www.boaeditions.org.

Author


Jillian Weise

Jillian Weise is the author of The Book of Goodbyes, which received the 2013 James Laughlin Award from the Academy of American Poets.

Date Published: 2013-01-01

Source URL: https://poets.org/poem/goodbyes