From my series inspired by the poetry of Pablo Neruda.

 

Goodbyes

 

I’ve a flair for the bitterest roles.

 

I was never the cause of those greetings

the thunderbolt exchanged with the rose.

 

I never created the world, never made

watches or waves–I never expected

to find my portrait engraved in the wheat.

 

After losing so much in places I’ve not even been to,

I perfected my absence

with hardly a vagary lost–

only a pillar of salt crumbling away

in a cupful of wintery water.

 

The traveler asks himself: if he lived out

a lifetime, pushing the distance away,

does he come back to the place where his grieving began:

squander his dose of identity again,

say his goodbyes again, and go?

 

-Pablo Neruda 'Las Manos del Día’ / ‘The Hands of Day,’ 1968)

© Cynthia Grow 2020

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