The Cowardly Lion

People ask me why you’re leaving.
I tell them I don’t have the courage to ask.
People ask me when you’re leaving.
I tell them I don’t have the courage to look at my calendar.
People ask me why New Mexico.
I tell them I don’t have the courage to think that far away.

I do not avoid talk about your leaving
because I am mad at you or dismiss your choice.
I do not talk about your leaving
because I will miss you so dreadfully I cannot speak.

But I will listen.
You can find me, if you look under the blanket
I’ve pulled over my head,
a blanket of spring’s daffodils and summer’s daisies,
autumn’s asters and winter’s barren branches.
You’ll find me, awash in the tears that feed their very roots.

I will not say “good-bye” to you.
Good-bye means nothing to friends who mean everything.
I will say “so long” to you –
wherever, whenever, whyever you may go.

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