The Choreography of Goodbye

The Choreography of Goodbye by debgrant

Arrright, take care.

I didn’t know how often I said it or how it sounded

until it was mimicked by a friend.

Arrright, take care….like a pirate at first to signal the so long

and then ending with two serviceable words with a touch of kindness.

Take care. You take care. You take my care for you.

You take care of yourself. Be careful in a dangerous world.

I want to see you again. Personal salutations with emphasis

and inflection that wear a unique pattern on the soul like a shoe.

Repeated so often, it comes to serve

as the ending punctuation in combination with the movement

out the door, into the car, hanging up, leaving the zoom room.

The words and steps of the dance become a comfort.

I knew a man who wore one-piece overalls to church every Sunday.

On the way out the door, he pumped my hand once and only once

from high to low and release saying “Have a good week”

Until the Sunday he said, “Have a good life.”

The one-word change in the lyrics of his dance made me stumble

Until he was out the door and the next dance partner changed

my focus to another’s lyrics and matching steps of hug or handshake.

A few hours later he sat in a chair in his living room and

shot himself in the heart which was weeks at war with grief

on the death of a wife of a lifetime.

Have a good life was still tenderly on his face resting

on his own shoulder away from the violence done to his chest.

I’ve been more aware of the choreography of goodbyes,

the lyrics and the steps since that morning at the church door

and in his living room.

Arrright, take care.