Never say goodbye.
As the rain falls, silvering a field green with wheat. As small drops on a breeze sift onto the back of your neck, refuse.
The goodbye wells up in my heart, thrusts itself forward for notice, and the sky weeps for me. This melancholy strokes my soul with a meaningful fingers and says....what?
That it is time?
That old things must change?
No, the rain sings a many-tongued song but it is not that. The meaning lies just beyond my reckoning but the body needs no words to feel the import of this painful pleasure. Have you ever worked till blisters form? A hot, swollen testament to purpose, a work completed.
Well done, old girl, well done.
This rain blisters me. Under old callouses a new but familiar pain forms, swelling to the chafing of the true things it flings earthward. A cardinal flaunts on a gaunt pine-branch and its small voice is as sharp and acid-sweet as the rain: a goodbye that won't come.
Train-song drives upwind, iron wheels hammering the same tune. Away, away, away, away. How I want to reply, "I will away with you!"
But I can't. Never say goodbye to good things. To good friends. To best times. I never do. How could I?
Harder, fleeter, faster fall the raindrops. The pain intensifies, becomes sweeter and firmer in its vintage. Goodbye, goodbye!
I could say it. If my soul was more tender or a deal harder I could say that dolorous word, goodbye. But I think that if I hold onto Them, those things I cannot set free, They will stay. Goodbye would be easy if I did the leaving. But while the song drums "away," it is a gypsy-call for Them. Those things I feel I must keep. The song has two words...
"Remain," is mine.
Like rain, my word spreads feather-light mist over my eyes and soul.
Let them away. You remain here, for here is your place. Say goodbye.
But I cannot. Never say goodbye. Goodbye is a severe word. If they go away, who promises I will see them again? Who promises I will not remain obedient and empty-handed and absent-hearted?
A train shouts through the mizzle: away, away, away, away.
I shiver. A divisive pleasure and pain this is, though as dusk falls I have learned its tongue, dividing my will in shards of yes and no.
I will. I believe and trust it is right.
Away. Give them away.
But can I? Greater than a fear of tangible evil is the thought of being left behind, forgotten, shrugged out of like a coat They once loved but grew too large for. Must we keep growing? Can we not stay as we are? Remain young and safe so They will never have to give me away? I would like that. We could walk in this rain together and balance on the tracks along the railroad and staunch its song. Never have to say goodbye. We could all stay. Would that be so wrong? We are so happy.
More rain. Green now yawned up by slate and darkness. If my heart would not grow, would not breed such eager dreams, maybe the rain could not chafe its palms. We all accept the good agony of a heart's sprawling expansion, though it sometimes makes to burst the chest apart.
Oh. That is why we grow bigger, isn't it?
If we could not, would our frightened, brittle child-bones crush the thrumming soul? Or would the heart grow like cancer and force the indolent frame apart? The frame that would not say goodbye, at war with itself.
My lane is a pale blue horseshoe in the grass. Rain trots down the gutter and asks again:
Won't you say goodbye?
Will it hurt? I don't like to hurt.
Will I be lonely? I can't bear to be alone.
Will I ever get it back?
But the rain has only one double-edged sword: away, remain. It is my choice to let us grow or to make us suffocate in a body ill-shaped for the shape of our souls. If I say goodbye, if They never come back, will I miss Them? Will other days and people and times come to fill the emptiness They left? And will the day arrive when "remain" will have become too small a word for my life? And will They have to say "away" to me?
Down, down comes the mist and all glistens in the gloaming. Maybe, soon, I could say goodbye.
My blisters cool in the rain.
Away, away, but you: remain.
And somehow it's enough.