she flies tomorrow

we prepare an audio advent calendar,
The Best Christmas Pageant Ever,
a story that i used to read to them
when they were small,
recorded in 24 handy sized mp3’s
so she can hear our voice–
it won’t add weight to her suitcase,

she’s allowed 20 kilo luggage
on the flight
“not much for 6 months–”she pouts

“you’ll be good” i say,
my motto is to travel light,
no more than one bag,
never more than you can carry on your own,

the suitcase yawns– hungry, open lid&
half-packed in her room,
list lying next to it
with things she wrote down weeks ago,

“i’m afraid that i’m forgetting something”
“let’s check–
passport// tickets// a bit money//
if you don’t forget these, everything’s alright

“you’ll get wet– ” i smile, “30 C and rain”
(i put a weather app for Costa Rica on my laptop
as soon as it was clear that she would go)
“only in the afternoon mom–
should be sunny in the mornings“

&i hate good-bye’s
even though this one is temporary
space between an ending & new start,
tension mixed with ripples of excitement// fear,
warm hazel hair wrapped ‘round my fingers,

if my voice
shakes a bit (after the Macklemore tune in)
it’s cause i picture you, somewhere
between the caribbean and pacific,
as you listen


it’s my pleasure to serve drinks behind the dVerse bar tonite.. write a poem & join us as we celebrate poetry.. no specific theme.. just poetry as it pours in…doors open at 3pm EST


61 responses to “she flies tomorrow

  1. Good-byes are SO hard, even if only temporary, when a child (of any age) is going so far away. And I DO agree with traveling light.

  2. excellent closure on this…i like that personal touch…and it shows your heart as well…i know you will miss her…i think that gift of hearing your voice will be a rather cool thing to keep her company when she needs it as well as you know she misses you too….

  3. Something quite difficult about watching your child leave for foreign country no matter how well prepared they are….you express those feeling well here.

  4. Aw Claudia your kids keep leaving. I know it breaks your heart each time. Glad it’s temporary. And she’ll be going to Costa Rica, have some fun and add to all those things that help her grow. Still, I know it’s hard to ssee her go.

  5. Love the idea of an advent calender of mp3:s … a beautiful thought.. and that yawning suitcase mocking the goodbye.. I would travel light to.. and leave room for memories to bring back too… sunshine makes it easier.

  6. how nice – going on her own, first trips ..Like your mp3 with voices..I wrote the letter to read in the plane…’ll be easy with time…don’t worry :)x

  7. Yes, some tears, & a big lump in the throat for this one. Love the title, like a play on I’LL CRY TOMORROW (1955); but probably just coincidence. Costa Rica will be tropical & lovely; always can be dangerous for tourists at times. Short stay is good news. You really grabbed us by both ears with this one; thanks.

  8. it rains every afternoon, but is so beautiful at dawn when the rain forest breathes warm and humid and the sounds of birds are startling and magical

  9. You capture well the ambivalence of letting go. They are a part of us no matter where they are…in letting go we help them to grow. Got to trust that all you have taught her will carry her through this new adventure!

  10. I’m sure she travels under angel’s wings. I think you are a wonderful mother, letting her explore the world as she finds her place in it, while letting her know she’s always at home in your heart.

  11. My youngest son did 6 months in Costa Rica many years ago. He loved the country, and the people. He now lives in Bogota with his wife, who is Colombian. Your poem reminded me of his adventure.

  12. Pingback: Dropping the kids off at school | grapeling

  13. You have us share your last moments and anxieties for your daughter in a most moving way Claudia! Wishing her all the best. She will come back a richer person.

  14. ah, not looking forward to those days with my young ones. My older daughter traveled a lot, always lived a ways away from me. Never did like sending her home and watching that plane pull away.

  15. I relate to that degree of excitement where the lists begin when plans are introduced, the yawning suitcase, the need to be remembered, the sadness of separation and pride in courage. Beautiful, Claudia.

  16. I am thinking of you and of your daughter–this piece touched me–I just put mine on a plane to Germany for a year–Thank goodness for Skype–Lovely capture of complex feelings

  17. Prayers for safe travels, and safe waiting for you Claudia as well. What an adventure! And sage advice – never pack more than you can carry. I think we almost always take too much, just the essentials are needed for true adventure!

  18. I’m not sure how I would feel if my nephews were to go away to another country. I will miss them a lot…but I’m sure them hearing my voice will make them happy.

    It’s difficult but at least you’ll know their voice will be living inside your mind and heart.

    I like this poem of yours a lot. 🙂

  19. The goodbyes, the adventures – in today’s world skype, texts, emails, phonecalls keep us close. Sending good thoughts for good times to you both. Loved the poem Claudia. Like all of yours, you paint pictures that I can see and happily envisage you in the center. So happy I know you!

  20. Lovely! You have such a great relationship with your daughter. Just precious. I like the image of the suitcase yawning and hungry. Nice. And the anticipation of her leaving, mixed emotions. Enjoyed it 🙂

  21. This expresses the anxiety of goodbye even if just for a while. I like the idea of recording voices..and the travels..

  22. Your love for her shines right through this… Though as a mom, I understand how it can be difficult. But what an amazing experience for her, somehow I get the feeling she is her mother’s daughter!

  23. Oh, goodness … I felt the excitement and the fear it took me for a ride into a future that I am sure I will encounter one day. This story swept me right into it – my favorite line “the suitcase yawns– hungry, open lid&
    half-packed in her room,” Endearing comes to mind as I read it again.

  24. Anna’s daughter is spending her 3rd year in South Korea teaching English…she spends several months at home each year. Point is…I get to witness, just as you describe, the packing, checking it twice, the “goodbyes”.

    PEACE to all women at the time the birds begin to fly…on their “own”. Hmmmm.

  25. I like the memento you sent with your daughter – how comforting it will be for her to hear your voices and have beautiful memories of childhood at the same time.

    I feel the tension of letting go here – and you are so gracious in the way you let your children fly on their own (no pun intended). 🙂

  26. Wonderful narrative poem, Claudia. I am hoping for blue skies and rainy afternoons filled with knowledge for your daughter. I know you will worry, but this is a great opportunity for her.