Guest Poet Eric Tang

Last Goodbye

The moment was a flash
a burnt photograph
in the front of my memories.
Even though the picture was just taken.
My heart drifted to the throat,
like a lost ship with a winded sailor,
as we said our good-byes
I knew it was forever.
Choking on last words of good luck
trying to formulate sentences
worthy enough to last a whole lifetime,
but could only see green fields
under an unlimited sun.  The days
we used to play were brighter, childhood.
For you the days offered so much more
somewhere else.  As the sailor knows
there’s time for everything-
while holding on to this picture,
I swallow my heart
and the sailor sinks with his ship.

March, 1999

Eric Tang's Questions:

My intent on writing this poem is to pull at you emotionally, to make you remember last good-byes and how  sad and joyful it was to see a friend or a loved one move on. I worry about the language used here, is it too flat and bland to give you that effect?

Or does the poem make you think of the time you moved away or moved on?

Does the sailor analogy make sense?


Eric Tang     

The Albany Poetry Workshop