team swazi::: bella harris::: how do you say goodbye?

how do you say goodbye

to the carepoint that made you feel at home,
to the smiles you saw everyday,
and all the hands you shook,
and the kid whose picture you took?

how do you tell someone that this is it,
your van will not keep coming around the corner,
that this will be the last time they can wrap their arms around,
that this will be the last time for you to hear their singing sounds.

when the only word they know is hi, how do you teach them the opposite,
do you use your hands and wave,
do you form out syllables on their foreign tongue,
or did you just sit in the dirt
and kiss every hurt and pretend it’s not happening?

i don’t know how to say goodbye to the kids who stole my heart,
i hug and hug and hug and hug
and wish with everything i got
that this will not
be it.

i say i love you,
i click my camera,
i grab their little cheeks,
and i answer the “will you come back”
question with words that ring true,
i say “i want to i want to”
and for right now, that goodbye will just have to do.