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The Last Day

(Joseph’s artwork in fourth grade)



he comes home

carrying his ‘brag’ bag

filled with momentoes

from a year of

kindergarten


report card

demonstrating his young

accomplishment


scrapbook documenting

month to month

adventures

photos of smiling faces at

school gatherings

field trip camaraderie

confluence of friendship


word book

complete with letters and drawings

‘Q’ as in darling queen with an impressive crown

‘T’ as in smiling tiger


and, teary-eyed, he plops himself

down on the couch

the final goodbye

out in front of his school

had been hard

he had felt the fullness

of this special year

with his special friends

and special teacher


and I join him in this pool

of emotion

for the merry-go-round of

experience does

not falter


and life asks that we

let go and extend our hand

to meet with grace

the next

offering


goodbye was not intended

to be easy


but it is simple


tears speak of

a good sadness


the heart’s way of showing

its gratitude


and willingness

to stay open

to further wonder and

delight


so I hold him

in this bittersweet

of endings


and we are

renewed



Annie Kiyonaga


2002



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