Goodbyes, or, this poem-like thing I wrote one day

Last night after every asana, my instructor chided, “Let it go; that pose is over and you will not return to it again.”  She kept reminding us to exist in the present moment–if one pose didn’t turn out like we wanted, that didn’t mean it should affect the pose we were currently attempting.  It’s a lesson worth revisiting from time to time.

As a rule, I try not spend much time in the past except in homage.  There are things I can now safely say I will not be: a young mother, a prima ballerina, an Olympian, or spelling bee champ.  No use in whining over that.  Because there are at least a few other possibilities: a grandmother, faster than I was last year, a swimmer, a permanent resident somewhere.

So I found this today inside some notes and scribbles; I wrote it to greet the new year.  Here we are 5 months in, and it feels particularly resonant.


Thank you for the scoliosis and slouching and the college years of bracelike bras and sports ones that tried to suppress the d-cups that, last year, I managed to shrink on the Middle School track where my sneakers turned rusty in the pellets and dusted my skinny ankles like that woman did me—whose arms flailed wildly but as fast as her legs as she looped me again and again;

for being uncovered and cool and jobless in the July sun that day and what of any day when you miss someone anyway?

And for the way my knees tried to face each other like the newly separated Siamese twins on TLC wanting to see each other face to face for the first time;

and for my own independent scar-less belly, stubborn and resistant to every year and kind of core work; for bucking the trends;
because money was always more short than the price of heating oil and family packs of hamburger meat;

as independent as me, my knees, and creative like my awkward rendition of Kou-Kou and any other dance that requires rhythm, coordination;  and especially, for Kou-Kou last night;

because the world is bigger than a 15 mile tempo run;

because the body does not last forever and what is collected is only turned to ash and memory;

for a cooperative brain stem and scary people 2 steps behind.

So for Sister Faye’s funky hips and friendliness and non-judgemental-ness and missing me when I was out of touch and remembering that my birthday is coming soon and that I made Xango awkward too;

for everydays more than birthdays which are nice but not as nice as dreaming of frozen banana ice cream drizzled with maple syrup and sprinkled with walnuts for summer breakfasts which makes eating it seem rudimentary after that;

and for pillow top mattresses and ginger snap crumbs; and the virus that let me enter this new year clean and rested;

for songs that get me to work and home from work in cold misty rain, low visibility, and not enough concrete to fit us all; and for disappointments and distrust, and my impatient, imperfect, and way too serious and too independent and too certain and too uncertain oopses that make it so hard to love you;

and for frankincense and SmartWater; and what passes for hello in a nod and what passes for goodbye in a silence I secretly note on my calendar, and for slow steady angry goodbyes at that,

thank you.

One thought on “Goodbyes, or, this poem-like thing I wrote one day

  1. Well, picking my chin up from somewhere near my knees – I guess all those ‘thanks’ (at least the recognition of all those events) are justified! I am always enthralled by your words & thoughts…It’s like somewhere some of them mirror my own, making me think “did I say that” or at the very least, “I could have said that”….maybe that’s the mommy/daughter thing going on. At any rate…glad to see this radar continue!


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