How should I finish the goodbyes?
I’ve spent the past weeks
finding good, appropriate, warm, special, and creative ways
to say goodbye:
to students who are leaving to attend other schools,
to teachers who are leaving because they’re moving
or because they want a change in their careers,
and to our head of school
who also is moving to another life challenge.
I feel I am ready to stuff all the goodbyes into one beautiful box.
It will hold all the emotions.
It will contain the tears and best wishes,
good lucks, and
I’ll miss you’s—the fluttery feelings of heartache
that I don’t want to feel anymore.
They’ll be packed into the box,
shut and taped down for this year,
until next time,
when I ready myself for endings again.
It reminds me of playing Bingo,
when one stays at the card,
dutifully marking the numbers as they’re called
when you see some on your card.
Slowly, the squares are taken, and the line is made.
BINGO is shouted, and it’s over,
someone has won,
and it’s over.
You’ve done all you could,
and won or lost, and it’s over.
That’s how goodbyes feel.
It’s time to put them all away this year.
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