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Graduation In Translation

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Searching for your one important face
in a crowd of caps and gowns
and beach balls—which are against
The Rules and…There— you turn,
see me and grin that always smile
which all these years of practice
taught me to translate with ease
into this jumble of:
I’m hot, this hat itches, isn’t this whole
thing ridiculous but funny?
And as always, the grin includes
Instructions for me–
Please Do Not:
Cry
Take any more pictures
Comment on my sneakers
Or the girl in the next aisle.
I smile right back, knowing you too
are a master translator:
I love you, we both say,
as I reach for the camera.

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