Leave-taking

by allisonkujiraoka

Leave-taking is not
turning your back.
It is not
an unadorned goodbye.
It is side stepping the end,
glancing behind while inching forward.
It is spoken in solemn tones
with a formal grace, or
It is an upbeat to-be-continued palm wave.
Happy or somber, each avoiding
the crassness of finality.

Unguarded sighing and
open-mouthed laughter–
the hallmarks of easy exchange–
give way to pat phrases,
and stock promises,
and dutiful embraces.
The ornaments of human behavior.
Predictability grates and soothes.
It is what we do.

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