Yesterday we lounged at Gate Four, waiting to wedge a neat painless goodbye. When the attendant called rows one through seventeen, and I lifted my bag to board, Seattle sunlight flashed off the tail and briefly lit your silver hair, thick as a girl's.

Once you wrote, "All mothers are poets, Seeking symmetry in pink flesh But if I, your daughter, for the first time half your age, can pack along the shape

of that departure, including the furrowed lines of your skirt, your slender legs, the angle of your shoulders when you hiked up your purse, then perhaps this is an arrival! And a daughter too can be a poet, framing symmetry in airport windows, borne by the image of her mother waving off yet another child into thin air.

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