I sense your departure in your smile.
It smells like the first autumn rain,
like the first winter frost.
It sounds like the war drums,
like the funeral trumpet.
And I know I cannot make you stay.
Not matter how hard I try to stop the water,
the river will always flow to the sea.
No matter how hard I squeeze my eyelids,
the morning will always come.
And I know I don’t want to make you stay.
Birds have to fly to the south
to stay warm.
Leaves have to fall from trees
to nurture the roots with new soil.
And you have to go.
Alenka H., 2023