Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

You Stood beneath a Streetlight Waving Goodbye

Academic journal article The Virginia Quarterly Review

You Stood beneath a Streetlight Waving Goodbye

Article excerpt

You stood beneath a streetlight waving goodbye

the night we dropped you off in the city

for our daughter's appointment

with one of the country's top surgeons.

And as we drove away, the other children and I

waived back at you,

until, because of the angle and the distance,

your forms disappeared in the light.

And I remembered how,

in college,

I would turn back each evening

as I stepped out of your apartment building.

You would poke your young beautiful face

out the second story window,

your arm cutting the cool night air

as you waved goodbye.

And I would walk backwards

over the frosted grass

until I reached halfway beyond the next building,

where, each time, from that distance,

I watched the streetlamp's light

suddenly consume your dark arm and face.

The mystics say creation begins

asa luminescent point,

a flash of wisdom,

containing all that will be

but in an abstract, potential form.

All those nights,

when we were so young,

when your body became a ray of light,

I could not have imagined

the life that lay ahead of us a decade later. …

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