A week of leaving (day 7)

Don’t trust your goodbyes to words –

be seeing you, see you next time,

dovidenia, viszontlátásra,

(tripwires all) –

before you know it you’ll be sliding

down that slippery slope of half-truths

headed for platitudes you’ll spend

the plane ride home unwishing.

Turn instead to the simpler score

of haptics, intentional gestures of touch:

Handshakes that turn into handholding.

A single spring flower in a transparent vase

for the woman who tried to teach you

how to folk dance without falling down.

Go to church on Easter Sunday,

give thanks for the resurrected

bridge that brought you.

A nod and wink that equate to complicity

for the walnut man who never charged

less than you were happy to pay.

In the home of the married teachers,

linger long enough to appreciate

the warmth of uneducated laughter,

to meet their grown son and his cat

named after Yogi Bear’s Boo-Boo

but nobody’s sidekick.

Return tenfold the waves of greeting

from teenagers from the children’s home.

Walk through the pub’s smoke screen

to the publican whose mother shares

your birthday, don’t be embarrassed

to give him a homemade card

emblazoned with universally scripted

sunrise – really, you’ll be surprised

how happy you are just to leave it

there and at that.