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Leave Taking

A couple days after your surgery,
I helped you fetch your new computer.
We managed the tricky business
Of getting it unloaded
And installed in your room.
Then it was time for me to say goodbye.
There you stood
Weakened from surgery
Practically falling asleep standing up.
It was TIME for me to go
And let you get your rest.
You were so vulnerable
And yet so strong.
Your weeks of liquid diet
Had just begun.
When that ended,
You'd resume your thesis work
And finish your doctorate.
How could any sane person
Fail to fall in love with you.
I stood rooted to the spot
Standing by my car in the parking lot.
I wanted to take you inside
Hold you in my arms,
And never let go.
While you slept
While you woke
While you recovered
And while you continued to grow.
"Good bye, and take care," I said.
As I smiled
Squashed my feelings flat
And forced first one footstep
Then another and another
Until I was in my car and driving away.
Part of me is rooted there still.

13 January 2002

by Bill Cattey