A blog is an autobiography written as you're reading it.

A Despedida

Despedida is a Portuguese word that has no equivalent in English, that I’ve found, at least. The closest thing I’ve come to is the act of saying farewell. This poem is an attempt to define the word. This is one of the strongest, if not the strongest emotion I feel as a TCK, so this poem comes straight from my heart.

It is an early morning

My suitcase rolls smoothly along the marble floor
Our footsteps disturb the quiet peace of the empty hallway.
You grip my hand, tightly. There it is: Gate E18.
It is the time of despedida.
Words are no good in the five seconds we have
I stand there for eternity, just looking.
And I open my arms up, and you enter.
Your small arms wrap around me, holding tightly.
A hug: so brief, so very long.
There is no better way to say goodbye.
And though I hear nothing said,
I drown in the thousands of words
You tell me without opening your mouth.
I don’t know who lets go first.
It is the time of despedida.
Saudáde can not even begin to capture it.
When I am pulled away your face is still there
And that is the memory I seal away forever.
As long as I will be gone,
You will still be there,
Standing, waiting, loving.
The speaker drones the last call to board.
It is the time of despedida.
All I can do now is wave.
I walk into the gate, and the lump in my throat is huge.
I know you are crying. I am crying.

It is an early morning.
It is despedida.

Andrew Joyce
Editor’s Note: In re-uploading this to Into the Book, the original cover image is sadly too low of a resolution to continue to use. I’m attaching it because I still find it intensely evocative. The updated cover image is a different (backwards) shot of the same location in the Zurich airport.