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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

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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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