Practice Saying Good-bye
by Jack Weitzman

When I leave for work
I practice saying good bye.
I say it different ways:
“Farewell”; “So long”; “Until we meet again”.
Sometimes I sound grim as an undertaker
carting our relationship's deceased body
out the door.
Sometimes I am loud, a steel gong,
as if to declare, once for all,
that I am not afraid of leaving.
Other times I say it softly
wondering if whispering makes my departure
less conspicuous. Then there are moments,
of anger, I say, “adios”, with a gesture cold and curt,
unwilling to divulge my actual vulnerability.
I’ve employed different languages:
“au revoir”; “adieu”, hoping the French
will make our parting seem romantic
a star flaming across night sky’s expanse.
But however I say it, whatever funeral notes
or circus sounds are present in my voice,
each one is a little easier.
The words “good bye” lose their sting.
Good bye. God be with you.
May your way be paved with light,
and mine.


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