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This poem is dedicated to my mom and dad…


How many times have we driven past that airport tower, its beacon lighting a path to a future beyond our shores?

How many times have you helped lug my suitcases?

And how many times have you stood by those glass doors,

Waving good bye, wishing me well?


The first time, you held back tears as you squeezed my hands in yours.

Good bye for now, you said, go out there and make us proud.

So the plane brought me to my future across the wide, blue ocean.

Hello college, hello knowledge.


The second time, I held back tears as I squeezed your hands in mine.

It’s snowing over there, I said, and I miss you already.

Oh, be brave, our dear, be brave. You’ll always be our little girl, you said.

So I put on my winter coat and courage and kept on marching because you believed.


How many times have we driven past that airport tower, its calming stillness tugging me to the rootedness of home?

This time, your smiles are tired but you’re beaming.

You say, we’re proud of all you’ve done.

Hey, I say, I may be a grown woman, but I’ll always be your little girl!


I walk through the glass doors and turn my head in gratitude.

I’m waving good bye, and wishing you well.


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