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Departure Gate

Christopher Wiseman
From:   Crossing the Salt Flats. 1999


(for J.)

My son expects a sonnet in this book,
He tells me, grinning, as we shake hands. I
Say I don't have one planned, then catch a look
Of my father's face in his — the mouth, the eye -

And watch him stride away, through the big door
Where I can't follow. Oh son, at twenty-four
You don't know how important farewells are,
Or how they bring back things too hard to bear,

Grim things from which we know we can't recover.
Fly safely. I'll write, I promise. I turn away,
Remembering how it was when I was young

And things were always waiting, the journey over,
Not left behind, the way it feels today.
(Dad, since you died each day is tilted wrong.)



Christopher Wiseman's works copyright © to the author.


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