Clingy with goodbyes

I found my first goodbye
in the palm of my mother’s hands,
sharp against the smooth satin
of our skin
this goodbye was the rainy day
that shaped the retinas of my eyes
and the vertebrae of my soul
It lasted longer than the days and the weeks
I grazed my knees with it
and marked it on the calendar

From then on, I found goodbyes everywhere
especially in hellos, or a moment alone,
a bouquet of flowers
I had a collection
that I displayed in my eyes,
you can still see it if I blink too fast,
pooled in the corners
a little vacancy between a sheen and a smile
the milky part of a faraway galaxy

After a while, I clung to goodbyes
like they were my friends
in a room full of strangers
they were the spine that held me up,
the jawbone that forced the smile
I could see them hiding around the corner
and I felt them on your tongue
in that first hungry kiss,
cystallised and salty

I don’t like to part with goodbyes,
their knowledge is my skeleton,
a cadence that is the
music that I know,
the bass-clef of the stave that I wrote,
and marked in continents on my calendar
I cling because otherwise
I might collapse on the floor
sprawled, trying to collect the pieces of myself

So you see, I am clingy with goodbyes

Artwork: Pierre Schmidt

94 thoughts on “Clingy with goodbyes

    1. Thank you, so very much. It means a lot that you liked it. I think yours was one of the first blogs I followed and I’ve always loved your poems and drawings. Blessings to you too, my friend.

      Like

      1. Assalamu alaykum sister. You are so very kind to say so. I too always like to read your words, you are a profound writer indeed. Jazakallah Khair

        Liked by 1 person

    1. I am terrible with goodbyes too, which is why I either try to predict them to lessen the impact or avoid them. Almost like if I let a goodbye out I would break. Kind of convoluted I know!!

      Thank you dear friend. ❤️❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  1. now this is different 🙂 you write with so much emotion that it feels alien and still beautiful. Not many would write something like:
    ‘..a little vacancy between a sheen and a smile
    the milky part of a faraway galaxy’

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Strangely, I take the alien-like comment as s huge compliment. I like to use unusual word combinations and hope that they still convey what I want them to… the vacancy line is meant to be about the vacant, glazed look people get when they are trying to avoid an emotion, they go somewhere between that glaze (sheen) in their eyes and a smile, a little moment of distancing themselves from the feeling to take the sting away. Showing a smile being the fake outward appearance of being “fine”. The milky part of the galaxy to me is the blurry part, too far away and distant to even see or understand. So, I kinda have these ideas in my mind, and then sometimes I may manage to convey them adequately, sometimes not!

      And it was you who inspired me to write something with no moon, sea or darkness references, so thank you!!🙂

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You put in a lot of thought into every line, a reason why reading your poems is a delight. I accept the thanks without humility 😀 always knew you would do well outside the chosen themes, a natural poet!

        Liked by 1 person

      2. You would never run out of poetry, not only because you are good but also because they use us, us as in you 😄 as a medium to manifest themselves.

        Liked by 1 person

  2. This touches me Rachel. Your poem is like a story unfolding. From letting go of your mother’s hand and the final hand that held yours. I don’t like goodbyes. So your words are precious to me.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Goodbyes hurt, if only there was a way we could never have them…. but sometimes we don’t have a choice. I literally cling to avoid saying goodbye, objects as well as people. There are many different types and circumstances of goodbyes too…
      thank you, dear Gina.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. There are many different types and circumstances of goodbyes too…
        ah this is so poetic on its own, I have had to say goodbye, at times though hard it was the best decision for me. I am happy I get to read your thoughts Rachel.

        Liked by 1 person

  3. As usual, beautifully done. You caused me to pause at that first goodbye, which I interpreted as you getting on the school bus for the first time. For me, I tend to use goodbyes as “see you later” … so when someone moves away and I’ll problem never see them again, I typically say something like “See you later.”

    Liked by 1 person

    1. It’s the finality of goodbyes that tear my sentimental heart to pieces, so I agree, ‘see you later’ is gentler on the disposition. I like your interpretation of the school bus too. Unfortunately that first goodbye for me was my parent’s separating. I was only 4 years old but I remember it pretty vividly. Children are resilient though, and life is full of goodbyes… unfortunately.

      Thank you so much for your kind words Frank. I always appreciate your thoughts.

      Liked by 1 person

    1. Oh G, I am so pleased that this evokes emotion in you, it is truly an honour. Honestly, an honour. I think you are very empathic and perceptive and I always feel your support deeply. Thank you dear friend 💕🧡💕

      Liked by 1 person

      1. You are welcome, R. It’s that and more than that. It brought out the pain I went through when I lost my mother. Good-byes. You never want to say good-bye anymore.
        When I lost my mother I had to sign some papers. I was asked: Can you sign? My reply was: After I signed the papers to take my mother off the machines I can sign everything. I don;t care anymore.
        Anyway, I said too much. Your work is outstanding. You deserve the praise.
        Love and hugs to you.

        Liked by 1 person

      2. G. Feel my arms reach out to you, feel my heart’s warmth touch you. I am so very sad for you, I feel your grief in the tears that are now in my own eyes…
        You do not say too much, you speak what you feel, and I have nothing but admiration and love for that. I probably said too much too…
        xoxo 🌸🌱🌼

        Liked by 1 person

  4. As a bass player, I simply love the following line:

    “music that I know,
    the bass-clef of the stave that I wrote,”.

    The entire piece has a melancholy feel to it, awash is sepia tones of the past. Sad, but beautiful.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. The first time that I had ever struck a note on a bass through an amplifier, the vibrations surged through my body. It’t through that remembrance that I read your lines.

        Liked by 1 person

  5. No one should say goodbye. It’s like I’m saying, ‘I might not see you tomorrow, nor ever again. These are my last words.’
    Why must we linger on death when we’re so full of life??

    Liked by 1 person

  6. This was really, really beautiful, probably one of my favorites, so far. Sometimes you don’t get to have a goodbye. Sometimes someone is taken from you, and you just have to find a way to make peace with it. I would rather have a bad goodbye than no goodbye at all. Some that hold on much longer than others feel necessary… perhaps they are those for whom goodbye has shown itself far too much, and far too soon?

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Yes, I completely agree Fall. Goodbyes can become so feared that people do everything possible to avoid them. That desire can be all consuming, and can manifest in so many ways – clinging to people, distancing from people, hoarding….. And yes, I think that this is more likely when goodbyes have been too many or too painful.

      Thank you for your kind words. It makes me feel honoured if this is one of your favorites.

      Liked by 1 person

  7. This is one of my favourite poem I have ever read. Sometimes good byes should never be given. Very heart touching. You really have a way with your words.

    Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi Rachel! I’m here—nursing a bit of a broken thumb—just the tip (the tuft—never heard of it before). Seven stitches. A moments inattention splitting wood—I split my thumb. Pinched it in a squirrelly log. But I’m doing better every day—five days out. Another nine to go and stitches come out. Typing one handed.

        I love what you are writing! The courage in being vulnerable—and from the place of innocence—with your mother. That touched me. Ahhhh….so many wonderful sighs!
        and even if I’m not here—you are in my thoughts. 🌺🌺🌺

        Liked by 1 person

      2. Goodness!!! That is terrible, and I bet super painful. That’s a lot of stitches in a very small space – the tuft (!). I hope the recovery is smooth
        Thanks fir the lovely comments about the poem. You’re often in my thoughts too 💕🌱

        Like

      3. Three right through the bed of the nail. So hopefully—I keep the nail. Yes—painful. Lots of ibuprofen. But, you know hand pain eh? I’ve never asked you what happened…wasn’t sure if I should…I thought of you when I was really hurting the first night. Gave me comfort—and strength. And thank you. Healing is healing…just takes time. Honestly—I’m just so grateful for my husband and the doctor who stitched me up—and modern medicine and ibuprofen…all of it. 🍪 and cookies. Cookies help.😊👍

        Liked by 1 person

      4. Thank goodness for all of those things! It is very limiting not being able to use a hand…

        Thank you for thinking of me, and you can ask me what happened… I don’t have pain in my hand, it just doesn’t ‘work’ anymore. I had a benign brain lesion that affected the motor functioning of my hand and leg and then subsequent complications from the treatment of that (radiosurgery etc)… It was a long recovery and I have regained a lot of function, especially in my leg, but my hand will be permanently affected… That was 2017, and I have my life pretty well back on track now but I think it damaged my psyche a little, and I am still recovering from that.

        So, long story, but I am actually really grateful you asked. It makes me feel a little emotional. No need to respond, or for sympathy, just knowing you know and wanted to know, means a lot. I will probably delete this comment after I know you have read it…

        Thank you my lovely friend.
        Xox

        Like

      5. Well, that is why I wasn’t sure…gosh, Rachel. Thank you for sharing. I have so much respect for you—for your writing. And I’ve learned so much from you—about myself too. I’m not going to say anything—just sitting quietly with you—under the wisteria canopy. Grateful for our friendship. Grateful to know you. I understand—but also hope that you keep your beautiful comment. And I think anyone else who reads it would agree-you inspire. So much. My dear, sweet, beautiful, romantic and talented friend. I hope for you always success and healing. 🤗🤗🤗

        Liked by 1 person

      6. It’s so beautiful under the wisteria , I can almost smell it. Grateful for your friendship too, I’m very lucky to have connected with you, your heart shines with goodness and integrity.

        Now, focus on healing that thumb dear friend, if I was there, I’d bake you some cookies myself! 🌺🌺🌺

        Like

      7. Aw-just envisioning you baking cookies is delightfully healing! Haha! I am a hot mess! But at least I can laugh about it now. Acceptance. Ok focus. And you also—focus on your own healing of your beautiful psyche. I love the Greek mythology of Psyche and Eros—and what they both had to learn from each other—for each other.
        As always, I look forward to your next poem, dear Rachel. The blossoming of your lovely soul. 🦋🦋🦋

        Liked by 1 person

      8. I don’t know much about Greek mythology so I’m going to look this up…

        As for baking, I don’t want to blow my own trumpet here, but I’m quite good at it. Especially cakes, but I’ll do cookies for you!! I’m messy that’s all. A messy baker.

        I look forward to your next post too xoxo

        Like

      9. Chocolate is the best kind in my opinion! But i also like decorating cakes, for people’s birthdays or as gifts for situations such as broken thumbs.

        Thank you so much for this link, I am going to enjoy reading this xox

        Like

  8. “I don’t like to part with goodbyes,
    their knowledge is my skeleton,
    a cadence that is the
    music that I know,
    the bass-clef of the stave that I wrote,
    and marked in continents on my calendar
    I cling because otherwise
    I might collapse on the floor
    sprawled, trying to collect the pieces of myself”

    This…. entire stanza. Is perfection in my eyes. Just enough melody to make the soul ache. But so approachable. Familiar. Almost… nostalgic. That vulnerability is expressed so beautifully, even musically. Which makes the metaphor about music itself so genius. I could read this to myself over and over. Both consoled and agonized at it. Your talent is breathtaking my friend.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Coming from you, this is such a compliment, and your comment is truly music to my ears. Music is so important to me, and if you found this musical, I am so happy. Honestly, I am not just saying this in return, I am in awe of your writing.! Thank you thank you thank you! ❤️

      Liked by 1 person

  9. Sometimes it is better to believe that there will be a goodbye and emotionally prepare for it. Battered hearts have a way of protecting themselves as I have been protecting mine. Becoming vulnerable again is something I struggle with. I hope to trust one day and let my guard down so that I can let the man of my dreams in. Your metaphors are raw and real and genius. Amazing!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. You capture exactly what I was meaning – we protect ourselves against pain, it’s a natural defence mechanism . But then, at some point it becomes detrimental and paradoxically keeps us feeling the feelings we are trying to avoid. It’s hard to be vulnerable. Thank you so much Melissa.

      Liked by 2 people

  10. This is just so beautiful! And there is something so mysteriously calm in reading this poem. Finding goodbye in the first kiss, in the mother’s palm. It’s simply brilliant. And gripping. Finding camaraderie in pain.

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Hi. This is such a beautiful comment, I’m so touched you’ve felt some sense of calm in this. In a way, it can be useful to befriend pain rather than fight it, I guess as long as it doesn’t mean you expect it or detect it when it’s not there…

      Thank you, so much.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Hi. Yeah, that makes so much sense. Befriending pain can actually be helpful if it doesn’t make you paranoid. What doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, right?
        My pleasure.
        I had come across your blog while going through April’s posts. And I’d come across April’s blog while reading Tom’s posts yesterday. I’m really glad I did!😁

        Liked by 1 person

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.