Poem – taking my leave

It is a little like death,
this leaving.
I’m telling all my favorite patrons
and they say
“It was nice to know you “
as if I’ve said
I’m dying,
or moving to Minnesota.

They ask
“Is it closer to your home?”
“Is it a promotion?”
“Is it something you want?”

Some don’t catch the use
of the
I’m being transferred.
It is a subtle difference,
but a difference
none the less.

They need someone
who is experienced
at this new-to-me
tiny branch,
who knows
the rules and can stand
on her own.
Someone who is strong.
It is a complement
that they have such faith
in me.

But it is still hard,
after 14 years.
I grew this place.
I grew in this place.
I decided where everything went.
I created the flow.
I shaped it.
It shaped me.

I take my leave of this place.
This is the last time
I’ll walk in the park.
The last time
I’ll get the bookdrop.

I’ll be back, sure,
to fill in,
to catch up on hours
so I can get the weekend off.
I’ll teach a bead class.

But it is like
having a house
and planting a garden.
When you move,
someone else tends the plants
– or not.
Someone else does the repairs
to the bathroom tile
– or not.

It is a letting-go,
this leave taking.

It is a bit like death,
and being reborn.


I’m being transferred to another library. It was unexpected, and I wasn’t really given a choice. I’m grateful it is close to my home and in a safe part of town. I have to rearrange my life-schedule to fit around this. There will be a lot of people I’ll no longer get to see. But, there will be many new opportunities to learn and grow. With the bitter is the sweet. I’m coming to look forward to this new opportunity. It will be a challenge since there are only three people working in that branch, and we will work every Saturday. In order to get the weekends off I’ll have to take vacation time or work extra (at my old branch) to make up the hours.

I find that I’m expecting a going away party. I am dropping hints for the kind of gifts that I would like. And then I realize this is really super rude of me. A gift that is given under duress is not a gift. And if I expect this to happen and it doesn’t happen then I will be really hurt. It is better for it to be a surprise in a good way. It is better for them to give me a gift of a party freely and out of kindness and love and respect then give it because they think they have to.

Everyone else has gotten a going away party. Well, except for one recent person who we almost wanted to give a going away party because we were so glad he was going away.

I’ve been there for 14 years. I was hired 10 days before the branch opened and so I helped establish the order and routine of how we do things in my department. Not only do I know the history of the branch but I have created the history of the branch. I think that deserves something. I don’t want a plaque or a memorial but I would like for my service there to be acknowledged and commended.

This is very small of me.

And perhaps I’m expecting too much of people who didn’t choose to work with me. Perhaps I’m expecting too much of coworkers and expecting them to be friends. Perhaps they don’t see how much I’ve done to create the stability and the flow of that department. Perhaps they will only notice it after I’m gone.