I got a chance to walk goodbye this week
Each step in oozing sand felt my boots seek
The firmness of the ground – the rock beneath
With ebbing of the tide in full retreat.
A handshake’s awkward hug and greeting smiled
A catching up, of future plans, his thoughts,
Through tears of bitter separation’s road,
To statements of his memories of gold.
I’m glad our parting memory was smiled,
And maybe we will meet once–in-a-while;
As I think back such partings that I’ve seen
And separation-places that I’ve been.
Like one young fellow’s loss and flood of tears
Each time a person entered his few years –
He had to walk each separation through
To separate the lost from me, then you.
When loss occurs it sweeps away so much
Of what we’ve built up – things of life and such;
Not everything must go – it’s hard to see
Especially at first when comforts flee.
Life starts again quite quickly for us all
While everything around us seems to fall;
It’s built on solid ground beneath our feet
We grope for it ’neath surf in full retreat.
A secondary loss is hard to bear
As friends of friends split-up – for both we care;
Society where winner takes it all
Compounds such loss when friendships take a fall.
So, fare-thee-well, my friend, we’ll think of you
Parts of my life profoundly touched by you;
We’ve walked a few short miles in pace past days,
And now we come to parting of the ways.
I’ve watched you grow up through young adult years,
Seen stumbling feet press on and heard the cheers
Of your attending friends urge on your run
Through struggle, toil, and episodes of fun.
Your cheery smile and growing wisdom’s words,
Amidst a world so painful and absurd
So twisted up, and topsy-turvy turned,
Where things beyond control are burn and burned.
Yet through all this I’ve seen you both grow up
Like Thoroughbreds mature from time as pups;
You’ve been for each such help along the way;
In all our hearts such memories will stay.
Such parting times don’t always have farewells –
A few of mine were nothing short of hell
Where secondary folks stood helpless by
And watched as loss took place no said goodbye.
I hate goodbyes; they’re phony in this day –
We meet again so often on our way;
And even more, some time ahead in death,
We’ll try again, once we’ve got back our breath.