The Leaving

The Morgue File

i have ignored it,

the thought of your leaving,

the sheer weight of it behind my eyes.

it builds sometimes,

like an over salted piece of fish

assaulting me

even before I get it into my mouth

to chew on the idea.

but the days are getting smaller.

soon a pocket Saturday will come

and I will put you on a plane again

another nine months of Skype.

in the time you are gone

much will happen,

but mostly, i will miss you,

in the tiny moments of my day

the ones you so casually inhabit,

the bits of lime and avocado in my salad

a reminder.

and if i am lucky,

the scent of you will be right there

on your pillow

when i rest my head there

after you leave.

copyright/all rights reserved Audrey Howitt 2015

In a few short weeks I send my youngest daughter off to the Kodaly Institute in Kecskemét for nine months. I read Claudia's piece about her daughter, and was able to sit down and write this piece for mine. Thank you Claudia!

Posted for Poet's United Pantry


  1. awww - you know i can feel this with every pore... so precious to have them around for a bit and so tough when they have to leave again... hugs... and thank god for skype!

  2. The thought of a separation like this. I can feel you counting down the days when Skype is replaced by a real embrace.

  3. It is time for school again, and our loved ones will leave us til next summer.
    I am glad you are still able to connect though. I know you will be counting days
    again until their return.

  4. The imagery of the fish here....such a powerful metaphor and the details you've included, like the avocado and lime.....add to the heartbreaking quality that the reader feels deeply in empathy with you.

  5. Awwww.. I can feel your boundless love towards your daughter.. this was such a moving read.
    Beautifully executed.

    Lots of love,

  6. What love is this! It is a beautiful piece.

  7. the missing can be so hard to face.. and i do find the scent of a person on a pillow comforting. beautiful.

  8. Goodness I can't imagine my daughter and youngest that far from me...Hope you feel much better and thank goodness for Skype and phones ~

  9. So hard to send them off...........this is beautiful, Audrey.

  10. I can feel this poem, Audrey. So hard to put the one loved on the plane and know that there is only that Skype connection; but thank goodness for Skype. It was so much harder those days when I went to college.

  11. Beautiful, Audrey. Never had to let any of my sons travel to a far away place to stay, but I remember thinking about it in their late teens. There are quite a few men in my family who have served in the military, and my oldest son was very involved in ROTC in high school. Thinking of him joining the army or air force filled me with incredible pride and at the same time dread, pain, and grief for the long separations that would follow. Anf fear, fear that his courage would be tested in combat. It is hard to let them go.... Theresa

  12. "over salted piece of fish"... like it! Heart felt poem.

  13. aww...the separation is lessens the ache a bit...

  14. Like bird chicks leave their nests..............................but we have to be strong as mothers.

  15. It hurts when they leave home even temporarily doesn't it? Their unwatched steps will however be taken hopefully with your guidance still in their minds.

  16. I am grateful for the memories we make with our children when they are near as the distance is always difficult.

  17. Lovely Audrey. A poem filled with love and longing. Hope she enjoys her stay there and her studies.

  18. Beautiful tribute to your relationship.


  19. This is so tenderly rendered ... your love palpable. And such a prestigious Academy of Music. You must be so proud. These joyous/sad times in our lives, inevitably turn totally joyous ... in time. Smiles.

  20. Awww, I can really feel the tug on your heart in this. Knowing you have to let go, but still needing to hold on. You wrote your feelings well, Audrey.

  21. Missing someone is hard. Great write.

  22. Oh, this is touching, Audrey. My niece just sent her daughter across country to college in NC. It must be soooo hard.

  23. Lovely... So hard to let them go .... But we have to :)


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