Learning the Courtesies

You can almost say goodbye now
understand perfectly as we do
your tiny hand coming up to
show us your version of
Y’all come back now as
you wave to yourself palm
to your face your heart
using your whole arm
whole body quivering with emotion

every day learning so much more
to cushion you beyond this
momentary leaving a covenant
you can trust in that says this
Bye is Good a promise
we’ll keep by coming back
no need now for your sobbing
of several weeks ago
when all you saw was the solid wood
of the back door and our departing silver car

now you listen carefully like a small rabbit
ears perked as we explain our next
inbound trip and how we’ll see
each other again bring blueberries
and read Dr. Seuss’ ABCs once more

your eyes are locked onto some future
even as you’re wrapped in the present
as you wave to yourself again and
blow kisses I carry all the way home.