If you have to leave your daughter in her adopted town 2000 miles or more from the city where you live, and this means a flight with a Denver stop-over
book it for early or mid-afternoon so that breakfast is at leisure in a sun-striped dining room where a sprig of cherry blossoms frame a window that shows a road stretching to the mountains. In your bowls are strawberries
while her hoop earrings swing with a shine that echoes the glint in her eyes. She wears brand-new jeans, hiking shoes for scuffy trails, a sweater blue as sky, and is planning a walk, upon your departure, down the hill to get papayas for lunch. And if you depart while the day is still young
it will make it easier than leaving cloaked by the night when you stare down from the plane at the lights spreading glitter and she but a single one somewhere amongst them all
Author of five collections of poetry, Shoshauna Shy’s poems often deal with the exhilaration and challenges of parenting. They have been published in print and electronically; as videos, inside taxis, community cars, and on the hind quarters of Madison Metro buses. She usually gets ideas for new poems while stuck doing something else.