Guy Gavriel Kay


You spent the morning together
at the kitchen table comparing
rucksack, backpack, knapsack
in online dictionaries.

Displacement activity.
He was ready for you to run him
to the airport and away.

You don’t send a child into the world:
that presumes too much,
makes it about yourself.

He’s doing this. Choosing to travel
a long way for a long time.
And yes, you did the same years ago.

That’s part of the feeling today,
memories overlapping the moment.
The way time runs but is always circling.

His pack weighs less than yours did.
Back then travel books and a sleeping bag
and a metal frame…

and you can still remember
how your parents looked
when you said good-bye:

welcome to that.
Live on the other side now.
Images of your own first time
abroad are shockingly vivid,
so easily summoned back.

You know he’s confident
(don’t be too much so),
alert, open to experience,
unafraid to be alone.

He knows he has limitations
in what he’s seen and done
and wants to push those back,
and you want this for him, fiercely.

Your heart is wide open
this morning to the wish
that good things
come to him out there:

people, places, days and nights
being built towards a life
to look back upon
(stay safe).

But that same heart
you feel to be opening now
will miss him the way
a person misses air

when they hold their breath,
watching someone
crossing a high wire,
far above the ground.

Godspeed my child, the world
is wild and wide, but not
to be feared because of this.
Know you’re loved. Know it as you go.