I started this blog thinking I’d upload a post every week or so, maybe even two a week. Well, it’s been a month now with no new content! (Plus, I’m hopping on a plane to Argentina in 5 hours, which will be another two weeks without updates.) It’s just that in this season of goodbyes and endings, these past few weeks have been the busiest of my entire year. It’s funny how we lose ourselves in the busyness; I’ve been so caught up in preparations for final concerts and graduation and leaving home that it’s only just hit me. This is it. High school is over. In two and a half months, home will be a small town off the coast of Maine.
So, knowing me, I’ve been writing a lot to try to make the letting go easier. And while I’ve spent the past few days thinking about how I’m going to cope without my parents and friends, how my days of familiar faces in the Interlake hallways are over, how I’ve said goodbye to my best friend—I’m only now realizing that I also have to leave this place. Bellevue, Seattle, the gorgeous PNW will soon be 3000 miles away.
So here’s a collection of words, all related in some way to these various goodbyes. There will be a time to write about new beginnings, but at the moment, I haven’t quite accepted the endings. (Side note: I can’t figure out why the formatting isn’t letting me put in line breaks. You can pretend these poems break in (il?)logical places!)
dear pacific northwest
I will miss this.
the green, green fog
the cinnamon brown of wintering pine
the heavy silences
as rain settles
the weaving of wind
through twisted limbs
says it plain,
that this sky
mercurial and slate-sharpened
will never lose
its clinging damp.
and I love it all,
this pacific reverie,
this forest in suburban denial,
overhead, the rain repeats
its tentative entrance,
filling mist with
the sound of lips
opening and closing
with no words to be said.
opening and closing,
I reach for the right sounds
to explain how
I will miss this,
the horizon half-awake
and blinking wide,
the humming cedars,
the needle-bright dancing
of water on my roof.
amid the turning of the pages
a cold wind strikes up,
frosting my fingertips,
where a faint chill settles.
everything I touch,
everything I hold close
dusted with winter
in the middle of may.
I press my cheek to stiff leaves,
plant my palms in the odd dryness of the earth,
lay petals along my jaw,
knowing that all my springtimes at home
are now behind me.
in the rearview mirror
blue pine turns to cherry blossoms,
and you start singing to a song I don’t know.
listen to her laugh, says my brain,
and in that second I wonder if I have it all wrong.
if I knew what it meant to love you,
understand you; I glance up to catch your eyes
thighs plastered to the hot leather,
but you watch the red light,
keep singing, I try to hum along.
the clock on the dash says 3:47
and your hair says young, golden, gone
as if your plane has already touched down
then the light changes and I wish it could be like this
forever, ever green,
we take our places on the questing moon-road
through pale grass like withering light,
following the nighthawks.
to you, this is a goodbye—heads facing east,
eyes pointed skyward, childhoods packed
into compact picture frames.
true, our hearts will soon be hung on display
across unfamiliar walls, our names
stitched into new voices, new sentences.
to you, this is a goodbye.
doors closing, strings untied.
I listen for her electric cry,
the nighthawk who fears no clouded flight,
but wings overhead in the dim half-light.
this is not a goodbye.
you and I,
we will meet again
halfway across the sky
by the light of the moon,
content in our distances.
And if it’s not clear that I’m deep in the feelings right now (!!), here are two more, spoken this time.
and “this night.”
These next two weeks in Argentina (!) will be a bit of a practice farewell, two weeks of knowing I’ll have to do it again at the end of summer. It’s a little heartbreaking to realize that you have a finite number of days to fully appreciate some of the people and places in your life. So on that happy note, I hope you find something relatable among these words, and as always, I’d love to read about / listen to your experiences 🙂