Leaving on a Jet Plane

Bags packed by the back door,

Mom’s looking around to see if I missed any more.

Dad’s talking quietly,

to my little sister,

she’s clinging to our cat,

and begging me not to go.


I have to go though.

It’s time. It’s been time.

I committed in March,

we began prepping in May.

It’s August though.

I’m ready to go.


I feel awful leaving like this,

so I kneel down to her, and say:

“You have to be a big girl now,

Mom and Dad need you to be strong,

You can do it. Don’t prove me wrong.”


My bags are packed.

I’m ready to go.

Goodbyes have been said.

I’m heading for a tour of deserts and men,

where gunshots will ring in my ears,

and goodbyes may be forever.

So I take it back.

I say, “I love you, and I’ll see you later.”

I don’t want goodbye to be forever.


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