Living Abroad, A Synopsis on Moving On

Living abroad means

your dear dear friends

are on the next plane

back to their own, real home,

the place they’ll go back to school

or eat those foods they’ve had such a

hankering for.

 

It was never going to be

some forever-stay;

there are bigger plans

than the ones

I foresee.

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They will leave you a chair

or a small lamp stand

a cup for your kids

and some cute hairbands

and then

 

gone

to be computer friends

not in a cafe

not to help you go shopping

not to tuck you back into the folds of dirt

here in your still-new garden

called

Another Country.

 

And everyone is fine with the leaving

because it is routine.

It is called “expat”

and “next season”

and “roll with the tide, baby”.

 

And then

it is just you

with your family

and it always becomes fine

but when you watch shows

or plan a birthday party

or wanna make some tortillas and queso

a real margarita,

it is lonely

 

and it is life

on an island

where so many are expats

and the nationals, the everyday people locals

I have met,

connected with on balcony parties,

on high towers, landmarks

over tea and cake,

every other day in cafes and the library—-

well, with them I’m still playing catch-up.

It is not their fault we aren’t connecting.

 

So goodbye dear friends, the special, the beloved trading secrets and tricks

the special, the beloved trading secrets and tricks,

prayers and swear words kind.

Bye in less than a month.

 

Goodbye to the long ago

thinking

that roots

are not so easily

repotted

and repositioned

and just plain picked.

 

People move and here, it’s often.

 

Hello, maybe to

the white cereal bowls or random candles

the travel shampoos

the “thank you” on teal cardstock

they leave behind.

 

We should just call ourselves

Casa B&B

and then I can remember to expect

a checkout time.

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Home is a Weighty Thing

Tomorrow,

my girl will learn the weight of balance,

that there is tension in springs

as we push in all we’ve enjoyed,

inhale deep the alpaca wool,

shove in with bubble-wrap

the delicate butterfly you painted

and gasp. 

 

This is what it is like to leave

aunts, uncles, crying grandmas

at the shore. 

Rowing Great Grandpas

it hurts a little more

How Family

can be on two sides of one earth

split soles

favorite sparkly shoes worn down

to the bone. 

 

We set sail in the morn. 

 

In two days, or 18 hours of flight,

plus some lines of delay,

she will rush into the hug of her adoring 

papa

and all will be smoothed. 

All will be right

but

for that little tug,

the breath of ladybugs and stirring of grasshoppers

tuning their legs. 

The missing of all we tried to keep in the bottle. 

 

Tomorrow we will relearn your smell,

will take you in 

honey

will let you pick us up

nuzzle in our ear

walk through a porthole

called our other home,

our real bed

our actual table

the way we keep our cereal

and makeup and sock drawer and everyday hugs

and plums and leafy lettuce tight tight leaves touching leaves

all of us together, fitting ;

and we will say, “how lucky we are

  to have wings.”

 

—-

You get what I’m saying??

 

As an aside, I just can’t get enough of Ordinary Love. Oh, you wonderful wonderful U2, you.

& do they ever age?