The first time you were gone,
your absence felt like an incomplete routine,
the second time,
it felt like your absence
would now be the routine,
when the third and fourth time came,
there came two more goodbyes,
the fifth time,
you missed so many “goodnights”
that in my heart the distance between us started to grow.
I think your presence is starting to feel out of routine.
I think a part of me just
wants to resist new beginnings,
all it craves is sitting in a car,
watching the distances grow,
in the hope that I might travel far enough
to reach the past.
This poem is about when I first moved to Canada with my family. Like a lot of families, my dad did not live with us; instead, he would go back and forth to my home country, where he worked.
There wasn’t really another option. It was not easy being on two different sides of the world. It was a new experience for me, my siblings and my mom. It was also a new experience for my dad. One would think, distance is the biggest separation of it all. But I’ve come to discover that having opposite time zones beats distance anytime, anywhere. I would wake up to get ready to go to school, and my dad would have just fallen asleep. An endless routine. He would come to visit every now and then, but every time he left, I felt less of a need to react. That confused me, a lot.
I love my dad and the separation made me sad; I just wanted to be with him.
But at the same time, it felt like a part of me didn’t want to be attached any more. I’ve had so many goodbyes, and they felt like there were too many for my heart to handle.