Don’t Go

on the occasion of the final day of the Nugent family reunion

As the holiday tables and chairs are folded and set aside
for pick-up there comes that familiar feeling

a small child feels when the adult plays peek-a-boo,
just before their reappearance.

The morning’s freedoms are curtailed with each
suitcase and box of exchanged gifts carefully packed

in preparation for the journey. Whose destination
is here and there among the folds in Earth’s landscape

according to each family’s unique destiny they call home.
And this is the only reason we let you go.

Because the road you are on leads you, and we know
it would be a crime against necessity to hold on

Any more than to keep the sun each evening from hiding
Behind the water’s edge.

Still, this morning, as each of us turns and hides
Our face behind the covers we call distance

Our hearts grow wide as a child’s eyes as if to say:
What are you doing? Don’t go.

© 2013 D. Patrick Collins

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