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CNF: Saying Farewell

by Marian Kaplun Shapiro

’bye, c-u, so long, ’later, toodle loo, hasta la vista, have a nice day, have a good one, ciao baby, cheerio, goodbye and good luck, take care, God bless, and see you later.

The question is when. The question is where. The question is whether.


Marian Kaplun Shapiro is the author of a professional book, Second Childhood (Norton, 1988), a poetry book, Players In The Dream, Dreamers In The Play (Plain View Press, 2007) and two chapbooks: Your Third Wish (Finishing Line, 2007) and The End Of The World, Announced On Wednesday (Pudding House, 2007). She was named Senior Poet Laureate of Massachusetts in 2006, in 2008, in 2010, 2011, and 2014, and was nominated for the Pushcart Prize in 2012. A psychologist, she loves to plant words to see what grows from them.



Tell us (please!) anything you can about the origins, writing, revision, and/or anything else about this piece?

The avoidance of endings (death, by association) is something I notice all the time. No one wants to actually END, so people find all kinds of ways of avoiding confronting the inevitable. For example, people talk about “the late…” as if the person were going to show up in a few minutes. As a therapist, I’ve even noticed that when some people terminate, as they leave they often say “See you later,” which they are not going to do. So this prose-poem arose out of that realization; the questions at its end are meant to invite the reader to think more about their good-bye process, and the ways that they take the sting out of it by their (casual/colloquial/playful) language.

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