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Best Famous Goodbye Poems

Here is a collection of the all-time best famous Goodbye poems. This is a select list of the best famous Goodbye poetry. Reading, writing, and enjoying famous Goodbye poetry (as well as classical and contemporary poems) is a great past time. These top poems are the best examples of goodbye poems.

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Written by Tupac Shakur | Create an image from this poem

So I Say GOODBYE

Im going in 2 this not knowing what i"ll find
but I've decided 2 follow my heart and abandon my mind
and if there be pain i know that at least i gave my all
and it's better to have loved and lost than 2 not love at all
in the morning i may wake 2 smile or maybe 2 cry
but first to those of my past i must say goodbye 
Written by Shel Silverstein | Create an image from this poem

A Boy Named Sue

 Well, my daddy left home when I was three,
and he didn't leave much to Ma and me,
just this old guitar and a bottle of booze.
Now I don't blame him because he run and hid, but the meanest thing that he ever did was before he left he went and named me Sue.
Well, he must have thought it was quite a joke, and it got lots of laughs from a lot of folks, it seems I had to fight my whole life through.
Some gal would giggle and I'd get red and some guy would laugh and I'd bust his head, I tell you, life ain't easy for a boy named Sue.
Well, I grew up quick and I grew up mean.
My fist got hard and my wits got keen.
Roamed from town to town to hide my shame, but I made me a vow to the moon and the stars, I'd search the honky tonks and bars and kill that man that gave me that awful name.
But it was Gatlinburg in mid July and I had just hit town and my throat was dry.
I'd thought i'd stop and have myself a brew.
At an old saloon in a street of mud and at a table dealing stud sat the dirty, mangy dog that named me Sue.
Well, I knew that snake was my own sweet dad from a worn-out picture that my mother had and I knew the scar on his cheek and his evil eye.
He was big and bent and gray and old and I looked at him and my blood ran cold, and I said, "My name is Sue.
How do you do? Now you're gonna die.
" Yeah, that's what I told him.
Well, I hit him right between the eyes and he went down but to my surprise he came up with a knife and cut off a piece of my ear.
But I busted a chair right across his teeth.
And we crashed through the wall and into the street kicking and a-gouging in the mud and the blood and the beer.
I tell you I've fought tougher men but I really can't remember when.
He kicked like a mule and bit like a crocodile.
I heard him laughin' and then I heard him cussin', he went for his gun and I pulled mine first.
He stood there looking at me and I saw him smile.
And he said, "Son, this world is rough and if a man's gonna make it, he's gotta be tough and I knew I wouldn't be there to help you along.
So I gave you that name and I said 'Goodbye'.
I knew you'd have to get tough or die.
And it's that name that helped to make you strong.
" Yeah, he said, "Now you have just fought one helluva fight, and I know you hate me and you've got the right to kill me now and I wouldn't blame you if you do.
But you ought to thank me before I die for the gravel in your guts and the spit in your eye because I'm the nut that named you Sue.
" Yeah, what could I do? What could I do? I got all choked up and I threw down my gun, called him pa and he called me a son, and I came away with a different point of view and I think about him now and then.
Every time I tried, every time I win and if I ever have a son I think I am gonna name him Bill or George - anything but Sue.
Written by Mark Twain | Create an image from this poem

To Jennie

 Good-bye! a kind good-bye,
I bid you now, my friend,
And though 'tis sad to speak the word,
To destiny I bend

And though it be decreed by Fate
That we ne'er meet again,
Your image, graven on my heart,
Forever shall remain.
Aye, in my heart thoult have a place, Among the friends held dear,- Nor shall the hand of Time efface The memories written there.
Goodbye, S.
L.
C.
Written by Spike Milligan | Create an image from this poem

Have A Nice Day

 'Help, help, ' said a man.
'I'm drowning.
' 'Hang on, ' said a man from the shore.
'Help, help, ' said the man.
'I'm not clowning.
' 'Yes, I know, I heard you before.
Be patient dear man who is drowning, You, see I've got a disease.
I'm waiting for a Doctor J.
Browning.
So do be patient please.
' 'How long, ' said the man who was drowning.
'Will it take for the Doc to arrive? ' 'Not very long, ' said the man with the disease.
'Till then try staying alive.
' 'Very well, ' said the man who was drowning.
'I'll try and stay afloat.
By reciting the poems of Browning And other things he wrote.
' 'Help, help, ' said the man with the disease, 'I suddenly feel quite ill.
' 'Keep calm.
' said the man who was drowning, ' Breathe deeply and lie quite still.
' 'Oh dear, ' said the man with the awful disease.
'I think I'm going to die.
' 'Farewell, ' said the man who was drowning.
Said the man with the disease, 'goodbye.
' So the man who was drowning, drownded And the man with the disease past away.
But apart from that, And a fire in my flat, It's been a very nice day.
Written by Jorge Luis Borges | Create an image from this poem

We are the time. We are the famous

 We are the time.
We are the famous metaphor from Heraclitus the Obscure.
We are the water, not the hard diamond, the one that is lost, not the one that stands still.
We are the river and we are that greek that looks himself into the river.
His reflection changes into the waters of the changing mirror, into the crystal that changes like the fire.
We are the vain predetermined river, in his travel to his sea.
The shadows have surrounded him.
Everything said goodbye to us, everything goes away.
Memory does not stamp his own coin.
However, there is something that stays however, there is something that bemoans.
Written by Barry Tebb | Create an image from this poem

SORRY I MISSED YOU

 (or ‘Huddersfield the Second Poetry Capital of England Re-visited’)



What was it Janice Simmons said to me as James lay dying in Ireland?

“Phone Peter Pegnall in Leeds, an ex-pupil of Jimmy’s.
He’s organising A benefit reading, he’d love to hear from you and have your help.
” ‘Like hell he would’ I thought but I phoned him all the same At his converted farmhouse at Barswill, a Lecturer in Creative Writing At the uni.
But what’s he written, I wondered, apart from his CV? “Well I am organising a reading but only for the big people, you understand, Hardman, Harrison, Doughty, Duhig, Basher O’Brien, you know the kind, The ones that count, the ones I owe my job to.
” We nattered on and on until by way of adieu I read the final couplet Of my Goodbye poem, the lines about ‘One Leeds Jimmy who could fix the world’s.
Duhigs once and for all/Write them into the ground and still have a hundred Lyrics in his quiver.
’ Pete Stifled a cough which dipped into a gurgle and sank into a mire Of strangulated affect which almost became a convulsion until finally He shrieked, “I have to go, the cat’s under the Christmas tree, ripping Open all the presents, the central heating boiler’s on the blink, The house is on fucking fire!” So I was left with the offer of being raffle-ticket tout as a special favour, Some recompense for giving over two entire newsletters to Jimmy’s work: The words of the letter before his stroke still burned.
“I don’t know why They omitted me, Armitage and Harrison were my best mates once.
You and I Must meet.
” A whole year’s silence until the card with its cryptic message ‘Jimmy’s recovering slowly but better than expected’.
I never heard from Pegnall about the reading, the pamphlets he asked for Went unacknowledged.
Whalebone, the fellow-tutor he commended, also stayed silent.
Had the event been cancelled? Happening to be in Huddersfield on Good Friday I staggered up three flights of stone steps in the Byram Arcade to the Poetry Business Where, next to the ‘closed’ sign an out-of-date poster announced the reading in Leeds At a date long gone.
I peered through the slats at empty desks, at brimming racks of books, At overflowing bin-bags and the yellowing poster.
Desperately I tried to remember What Janice had said.
“We were sat up in bed, planning to take the children For a walk when Jimmy stopped looking at me, the pupils of his eyes rolled sideways, His head lolled and he keeled over.
” The title of the reading was from Jimmy’s best collection ‘With Energy To Burn’ with energy to burn.
Written by Sylvia Plath | Create an image from this poem

Berck-Plage

(1)

This is the sea, then, this great abeyance.
How the sun's poultice draws on my inflammation.
Electrifyingly-colored sherbets, scooped from the freeze By pale girls, travel the air in scorched hands.
Why is it so quiet, what are they hiding? I have two legs, and I move smilingly.
.
A sandy damper kills the vibrations; It stretches for miles, the shrunk voices Waving and crutchless, half their old size.
The lines of the eye, scalded by these bald surfaces, Boomerang like anchored elastics, hurting the owner.
Is it any wonder he puts on dark glasses? Is it any wonder he affects a black cassock? Here he comes now, among the mackerel gatherers Who wall up their backs against him.
They are handling the black and green lozenges like the parts of a body.
The sea, that crystallized these, Creeps away, many-snaked, with a long hiss of distress.
(2) This black boot has no mercy for anybody.
Why should it, it is the hearse of a dad foot, The high, dead, toeless foot of this priest Who plumbs the well of his book, The bent print bulging before him like scenery.
Obscene bikinis hid in the dunes, Breasts and hips a confectioner's sugar Of little crystals, titillating the light, While a green pool opens its eye, Sick with what it has swallowed---- Limbs, images, shrieks.
Behind the concrete bunkers Two lovers unstick themselves.
O white sea-crockery, What cupped sighs, what salt in the throat.
.
.
.
And the onlooker, trembling, Drawn like a long material Through a still virulence, And a weed, hairy as privates.
(3) On the balconies of the hotel, things are glittering.
Things, things---- Tubular steel wheelchairs, aluminum crutches.
Such salt-sweetness.
Why should I walk Beyond the breakwater, spotty with barnacles? I am not a nurse, white and attendant, I am not a smile.
These children are after something, with hooks and cries, And my heart too small to bandage their terrible faults.
This is the side of a man: his red ribs, The nerves bursting like trees, and this is the surgeon: One mirrory eye---- A facet of knowledge.
On a striped mattress in one room An old man is vanishing.
There is no help in his weeping wife.
Where are the eye-stones, yellow and vvaluable, And the tongue, sapphire of ash.
(4) A wedding-cake face in a paper frill.
How superior he is now.
It is like possessing a saint.
The nurses in their wing-caps are no longer so beautiful; They are browning, like touched gardenias.
The bed is rolled from the wall.
This is what it is to be complete.
It is horrible.
Is he wearing pajamas or an evening suit Under the glued sheet from which his powdery beak Rises so whitely unbuffeted? They propped his jaw with a book until it stiffened And folded his hands, that were shaking: goodbye, goodbye.
Now the washed sheets fly in the sun, The pillow cases are sweetening.
It is a blessing, it is a blessing: The long coffin of soap-colored oak, The curious bearers and the raw date Engraving itself in silver with marvelous calm.
(5) The gray sky lowers, the hills like a green sea Run fold upon fold far off, concealing their hollows, The hollows in which rock the thoughts of the wife---- Blunt, practical boats Full of dresses and hats and china and married daughters.
In the parlor of the stone house One curtain is flickering from the open window, Flickering and pouring, a pitiful candle.
This is the tongue of the dead man: remember, remember.
How far he is now, his actions Around him like livingroom furniture, like a décor.
As the pallors gather---- The pallors of hands and neighborly faces, The elate pallors of flying iris.
They are flying off into nothing: remember us.
The empty benches of memory look over stones, Marble facades with blue veins, and jelly-glassfuls of daffodils.
It is so beautiful up here: it is a stopping place.
(6) The natural fatness of these lime leaves!---- Pollarded green balls, the trees march to church.
The voice of the priest, in thin air, Meets the corpse at the gate, Addressing it, while the hills roll the notes of the dead bell; A glittler of wheat and crude earth.
What is the name of that color?---- Old blood of caked walls the sun heals, Old blood of limb stumps, burnt hearts.
The widow with her black pocketbook and three daughters, Necessary among the flowers, Enfolds her lace like fine linen, Not to be spread again.
While a sky, wormy with put-by smiles, Passes cloud after cloud.
And the bride flowers expend a fershness, And the soul is a bride In a still place, and the groom is red and forgetful, he is featureless.
(7) Behind the glass of this car The world purrs, shut-off and gentle.
And I am dark-suited and stil, a member of the party, Gliding up in low gear behind the cart.
And the priest is a vessel, A tarred fabric,sorry and dull, Following the coffin on its flowery cart like a beautiful woman, A crest of breasts, eyelids and lips Storming the hilltop.
Then, from the barred yard, the children Smell the melt of shoe-blacking, Their faces turning, wordless and slow, Their eyes opening On a wonderful thing---- Six round black hats in the grass and a lozenge of wood, And a naked mouth, red and awkward.
For a minute the sky pours into the hole like plasma.
There is no hope, it is given up.
Written by Billy Collins | Create an image from this poem

Forgetfulness

 The name of the author is the first to go
followed obediently by the title, the plot,
the heartbreaking conclusion, the entire novel
which suddenly becomes one you have never read,
never even heard of,

as if, one by one, the memories you used to harbor
decided to retire to the southern hemisphere of the brain,
to a little fishing village where there are no phones.
Long ago you kissed the names of the nine Muses goodbye and watched the quadratic equation pack its bag, and even now as you memorize the order of the planets, something else is slipping away, a state flower perhaps, the address of an uncle, the capital of Paraguay.
Whatever it is you are struggling to remember, it is not poised on the tip of your tongue, not even lurking in some obscure corner of your spleen.
It has floated away down a dark mythological river whose name begins with an L as far as you can recall, well on your own way to oblivion where you will join those who have even forgotten how to swim and how to ride a bicycle.
No wonder you rise in the middle of the night to look up the date of a famous battle in a book on war.
No wonder the moon in the window seems to have drifted out of a love poem that you used to know by heart.
Written by Anne Sexton | Create an image from this poem

The Division Of Parts

 1.
Mother, my Mary Gray, once resident of Gloucester and Essex County, a photostat of your will arrived in the mail today.
This is the division of money.
I am one third of your daughters counting my bounty or I am a queen alone in the parlor still, eating the bread and honey.
It is Good Friday.
Black birds pick at my window sill.
Your coat in my closet, your bright stones on my hand, the gaudy fur animals I do not know how to use, settle on me like a debt.
A week ago, while the hard March gales beat on your house, we sorted your things: obstacles of letters, family silver, eyeglasses and shoes.
Like some unseasoned Christmas, its scales rigged and reset, I bundled out gifts I did not choose.
Now the houts of The Cross rewind.
In Boston, the devout work their cold knees toward that sweet martyrdom that Christ planned.
My timely loss is too customary to note; and yet I planned to suffer and I cannot.
It does not please my yankee bones to watch where the dying is done in its usly hours.
Black birds peck at my window glass and Easter will take its ragged son.
The clutter of worship that you taught me, Mary Gray, is old.
I imitate a memory of belief that I do not own.
I trip on your death and jesus, my stranger floats up over my Christian home, wearing his straight thorn tree.
I have cast my lot and am one third thief of you.
Time, that rearranger of estates, equips me with your garments, but not with grief.
2.
This winter when cancer began its ugliness I grieved with you each day for three months and found you in your private nook of the medicinal palace for New England Women and never once forgot how long it took.
I read to you from The New Yorker, ate suppers you wouldn't eat, fussed with your flowers, joked with your nurses, as if I were the balm among lepers, as if I could undo a life in hours if I never said goodbye.
But you turned old, all your fifty-eight years sliding like masks from your skull; and at the end I packed your nightgowns in suitcases, paid the nurses, came riding home as if I'd been told I could pretend people live in places.
3.
Since then I have pretended ease, loved with the trickeries of need, but not enough to shed my daughterhood or sweeten him as a man.
I drink the five o' clock martinis and poke at this dry page like a rough goat.
Fool! I fumble my lost childhood for a mother and lounge in sad stuff with love to catch and catch as catch can.
And Christ still waits.
I have tried to exorcise the memory of each event and remain still, a mixed child, heavy with cloths of you.
Sweet witch, you are my worried guide.
Such dangerous angels walk through Lent.
Their walls creak Anne! Convert! Convert! My desk moves.
Its cavr murmurs Boo and I am taken and beguiled.
Or wrong.
For all the way I've come I'll have to go again.
Instead, I must convert to love as reasonable as Latin, as sold as earthenware: an equilibrium I never knew.
And Lent will keep its hurt for someone else.
Christ knows enough staunch guys have hitched him in trouble.
thinking his sticks were badges to wear.
4.
Spring rusts on its skinny branch and last summer's lawn is soggy and brown.
Yesterday is just a number.
All of its winters avalanche out of sight.
What was, is gone.
Mother, last night I slept in your Bonwit Teller nightgown.
Divided, you climbed into my head.
There in my jabbering dream I heard my own angry cries and I cursed you, Dame keep out of my slumber.
My good Dame, you are dead.
And Mother, three stones slipped from your glittering eyes.
Now it's Friday's noon and I would still curse you with my rhyming words and bring you flapping back, old love, old circus knitting, god-in-her-moon, all fairest in my lang syne verse, the gauzy bride among the children, the fancy amid the absurd and awkward, that horn for hounds that skipper homeward, that museum keeper of stiff starfish, that blaze within the pilgrim woman, a clown mender, a dove's cheek among the stones, my Lady of first words, this is the division of ways.
And now, while Christ stays fastened to his Crucifix so that love may praise his sacrifice and not the grotesque metaphor, you come, a brave ghost, to fix in my mind without praise or paradise to make me your inheritor.
Written by Leonard Cohen | Create an image from this poem

Hey Thats No Way To Say Goodbye

 I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, 
your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, 
yes, many loved before us, I know that we are not new, 
in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, 
but now it's come to distances and both of us must try, 
your eyes are soft with sorrow, 
Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
I'm not looking for another as I wander in my time, walk me to the corner, our steps will always rhyme you know my love goes with you as your love stays with me, it's just the way it changes, like the shoreline and the sea, but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie, your eyes are soft with sorrow, Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
I loved you in the morning, our kisses deep and warm, your hair upon the pillow like a sleepy golden storm, yes many loved before us, I know that we are not new, in city and in forest they smiled like me and you, but let's not talk of love or chains and things we can't untie, your eyes are soft with sorrow, Hey, that's no way to say goodbye.
Written by Linda Pastan | Create an image from this poem

To A Daughter Leaving Home

 When I taught you
at eight to ride
a bicycle, loping along
beside you
as you wobbled away
on two round wheels,
my own mouth rounding
in surprise when you pulled
ahead down the curved
path of the park,
I kept waiting
for the thud
of your crash as I
sprinted to catch up,
while you grew
smaller, more breakable
with distance,
pumping, pumping
for your life, screaming
with laughter,
the hair flapping
behind you like a
handkerchief waving
goodbye.
Written by Elizabeth Bishop | Create an image from this poem

The Moose

 From narrow provinces
of fish and bread and tea,
home of the long tides
where the bay leaves the sea
twice a day and takes
the herrings long rides,

where if the river
enters or retreats 
in a wall of brown foam
depends on if it meets
the bay coming in,
the bay not at home;

where, silted red,
sometimes the sun sets
facing a red sea,
and others, veins the flats'
lavender, rich mud
in burning rivulets;

on red, gravelly roads,
down rows of sugar maples,
past clapboard farmhouses
and neat, clapboard churches,
bleached, ridged as clamshells,
past twin silver birches,

through late afternoon
a bus journeys west,
the windshield flashing pink,
pink glancing off of metal,
brushing the dented flank
of blue, beat-up enamel;

down hollows, up rises,
and waits, patient, while
a lone traveller gives
kisses and embraces
to seven relatives
and a collie supervises.
Goodbye to the elms, to the farm, to the dog.
The bus starts.
The light grows richer; the fog, shifting, salty, thin, comes closing in.
Its cold, round crystals form and slide and settle in the white hens' feathers, in gray glazed cabbages, on the cabbage roses and lupins like apostles; the sweet peas cling to their wet white string on the whitewashed fences; bumblebees creep inside the foxgloves, and evening commences.
One stop at Bass River.
Then the Economies Lower, Middle, Upper; Five Islands, Five Houses, where a woman shakes a tablecloth out after supper.
A pale flickering.
Gone.
The Tantramar marshes and the smell of salt hay.
An iron bridge trembles and a loose plank rattles but doesn't give way.
On the left, a red light swims through the dark: a ship's port lantern.
Two rubber boots show, illuminated, solemn.
A dog gives one bark.
A woman climbs in with two market bags, brisk, freckled, elderly.
"A grand night.
Yes, sir, all the way to Boston.
" She regards us amicably.
Moonlight as we enter the New Brunswick woods, hairy, scratchy, splintery; moonlight and mist caught in them like lamb's wool on bushes in a pasture.
The passengers lie back.
Snores.
Some long sighs.
A dreamy divagation begins in the night, a gentle, auditory, slow hallucination.
.
.
.
In the creakings and noises, an old conversation --not concerning us, but recognizable, somewhere, back in the bus: Grandparents' voices uninterruptedly talking, in Eternity: names being mentioned, things cleared up finally; what he said, what she said, who got pensioned; deaths, deaths and sicknesses; the year he remarried; the year (something) happened.
She died in childbirth.
That was the son lost when the schooner foundered.
He took to drink.
Yes.
She went to the bad.
When Amos began to pray even in the store and finally the family had to put him away.
"Yes .
.
.
" that peculiar affirmative.
"Yes .
.
.
" A sharp, indrawn breath, half groan, half acceptance, that means "Life's like that.
We know it (also death).
" Talking the way they talked in the old featherbed, peacefully, on and on, dim lamplight in the hall, down in the kitchen, the dog tucked in her shawl.
Now, it's all right now even to fall asleep just as on all those nights.
--Suddenly the bus driver stops with a jolt, turns off his lights.
A moose has come out of the impenetrable wood and stands there, looms, rather, in the middle of the road.
It approaches; it sniffs at the bus's hot hood.
Towering, antlerless, high as a church, homely as a house (or, safe as houses).
A man's voice assures us "Perfectly harmless.
.
.
.
" Some of the passengers exclaim in whispers, childishly, softly, "Sure are big creatures.
" "It's awful plain.
" "Look! It's a she!" Taking her time, she looks the bus over, grand, otherworldly.
Why, why do we feel (we all feel) this sweet sensation of joy? "Curious creatures," says our quiet driver, rolling his r's.
"Look at that, would you.
" Then he shifts gears.
For a moment longer, by craning backward, the moose can be seen on the moonlit macadam; then there's a dim smell of moose, an acrid smell of gasoline.
Written by Allen Ginsberg | Create an image from this poem

In The Baggage Room At Greyhound

 I

In the depths of the Greyhound Terminal 
sitting dumbly on a baggage truck looking at the sky 
 waiting for the Los Angeles Express to depart 
worrying about eternity over the Post Office roof in 
 the night-time red downtown heaven 
staring through my eyeglasses I realized shuddering 
 these thoughts were not eternity, nor the poverty 
 of our lives, irritable baggage clerks, 
nor the millions of weeping relatives surrounding the 
 buses waving goodbye, 
nor other millions of the poor rushing around from 
 city to city to see their loved ones, 
nor an indian dead with fright talking to a huge cop 
 by the Coke machine, 
nor this trembling old lady with a cane taking the last 
 trip of her life, 
nor the red-capped cynical porter collecting his quar- 
 ters and smiling over the smashed baggage, 
nor me looking around at the horrible dream, 
nor mustached negro Operating Clerk named Spade, 
 dealing out with his marvelous long hand the 
 fate of thousands of express packages, 
nor fairy Sam in the basement limping from leaden 
 trunk to trunk, 
nor Joe at the counter with his nervous breakdown 
 smiling cowardly at the customers, 
nor the grayish-green whale's stomach interior loft 
 where we keep the baggage in hideous racks, 
hundreds of suitcases full of tragedy rocking back and 
 forth waiting to be opened, 
nor the baggage that's lost, nor damaged handles, 
 nameplates vanished, busted wires & broken 
 ropes, whole trunks exploding on the concrete 
 floor, 
nor seabags emptied into the night in the final 
 warehouse.
II Yet Spade reminded me of Angel, unloading a bus, dressed in blue overalls black face official Angel's work- man cap, pushing with his belly a huge tin horse piled high with black baggage, looking up as he passed the yellow light bulb of the loft and holding high on his arm an iron shepherd's crook.
III It was the racks, I realized, sitting myself on top of them now as is my wont at lunchtime to rest my tired foot, it was the racks, great wooden shelves and stanchions posts and beams assembled floor to roof jumbled with baggage, --the Japanese white metal postwar trunk gaudily flowered & headed for Fort Bragg, one Mexican green paper package in purple rope adorned with names for Nogales, hundreds of radiators all at once for Eureka, crates of Hawaiian underwear, rolls of posters scattered over the Peninsula, nuts to Sacramento, one human eye for Napa, an aluminum box of human blood for Stockton and a little red package of teeth for Calistoga- it was the racks and these on the racks I saw naked in electric light the night before I quit, the racks were created to hang our possessions, to keep us together, a temporary shift in space, God's only way of building the rickety structure of Time, to hold the bags to send on the roads, to carry our luggage from place to place looking for a bus to ride us back home to Eternity where the heart was left and farewell tears began.
IV A swarm of baggage sitting by the counter as the trans- continental bus pulls in.
The clock registering 12:15 A.
M.
, May 9, 1956, the second hand moving forward, red.
Getting ready to load my last bus.
-Farewell, Walnut Creek Richmond Vallejo Portland Pacific Highway Fleet-footed Quicksilver, God of transience.
One last package sits lone at midnight sticking up out of the Coast rack high as the dusty fluorescent light.
The wage they pay us is too low to live on.
Tragedy reduced to numbers.
This for the poor shepherds.
I am a communist.
Farewell ye Greyhound where I suffered so much, hurt my knee and scraped my hand and built my pectoral muscles big as a vagina.
May 9, 1956
Written by Natasha Trethewey | Create an image from this poem

Letter Home

 --New Orleans, November 1910

Four weeks have passed since I left, and still
I must write to you of no work.
I've worn down the soles and walked through the tightness of my new shoes calling upon the merchants, their offices bustling.
All the while I kept thinking my plain English and good writing would secure for me some modest position Though I dress each day in my best, hands covered with the lace gloves you crocheted--no one needs a girl.
How flat the word sounds, and heavy.
My purse thins.
I spend foolishly to make an appearance of quiet industry, to mask the desperation that tightens my throat.
I sit watching-- though I pretend not to notice--the dark maids ambling by with their white charges.
Do I deceive anyone? Were they to see my hands, brown as your dear face, they'd know I'm not quite what I pretend to be.
I walk these streets a white woman, or so I think, until I catch the eyes of some stranger upon me, and I must lower mine, a negress again.
There are enough things here to remind me who I am.
Mules lumbering through the crowded streets send me into reverie, their footfall the sound of a pointer and chalk hitting the blackboard at school, only louder.
Then there are women, clicking their tongues in conversation, carrying their loads on their heads.
Their husky voices, the wash pots and irons of the laundresses call to me.
I thought not to do the work I once did, back bending and domestic; my schooling a gift--even those half days at picking time, listening to Miss J--.
How I'd come to know words, the recitations I practiced to sound like her, lilting, my sentences curling up or trailing off at the ends.
I read my books until I nearly broke their spines, and in the cotton field, I repeated whole sections I'd learned by heart, spelling each word in my head to make a picture I could see, as well as a weight I could feel in my mouth.
So now, even as I write this and think of you at home, Goodbye is the waving map of your palm, is a stone on my tongue.
Written by Robert William Service | Create an image from this poem

The Cuckoo

 No lyric line I ever penned
The praise this parasitic bird;
And what is more, I don't intend
To write a laudatory word,
Since in my garden robins made
A nest with eggs of dainty spot,
And then a callous cuckoo laid
 A lone on on the lot.
Of course the sillies hatched it out Along with their two tiny chicks, And there it threw its weight about, But with the others would not mix.
In fact, it seemed their guts to hate, And crossly kicked them to the ground, So that next morning, sorry fate! Two babes stone dead I found.
These stupid robins, how they strove To gluttonize that young cuckoo! And like a prodigy it throve, And daily greedier it grew.
How it would snap and glup and spit! Till finally it came to pass, Growing too big the nest to fit, It fell out on the grass.
So for a week they fed it there, As in a nook of turf it lay; But it was scornful of their care, for it was twice as big as they.
When lo! one afternoon I heard A flutelike call: Cuckoo! Cuckoo! Then suddenly that foulsome bird Flapped to its feet and flew.
I'm sure it never said goodbye To its fond foster Pa and Ma, Though to their desolated sigh It might have chirruped: "Au revoir.
" But no, it went in wanton mood, Flying the coop for climates new And so I say: "Ingratitude, They name's Cuckoo.
"