I won’t lie. That’s a hard word to say sometimes.

I wish I lived in a culture that used the same word to mean both hello and goodbye. It’d make it easier, wouldn’t it?

I’m saying hello now because the last post I made was Goodbye. And it was me saying goodbye to my mother. More than a month ago. Saying goodbye sucks. When my kids leave to go back to their own lives. When I hang up the phone with my father now. When a friend I’ve waited a long time to see leaves again. I hate that word. That strangely cheerful sounding, heart-wrenching, chillingly lonely word.


And yet, having said goodbye to the woman I loved most in this world, somehow it’s been even harder to say hello again to all of you. Maybe it’s because it feels like everything I say echoes in a hollow space. (As a poet, I appreciate that hello and hollow rhyme so well…) But I’m saying hello now because I know there is more to be done here. I have plans for National Poetry Month in April that include this blog. So I will say the word that, strangely, begins with a syllable that describes where I sometimes feel I am stuck.


Two words, so very different in construction, not at all alike in sound,

So very difficult to say.


By Michelle Garren Flye

A whisper of a word over an abandoned grave—

soft breezes blow spring grasses around

and I am searching for redemption.

Courage, the wind whispers, try to be brave,

don’t hesitate, reach for the crown

and your place in life with strengthen.

But in the end, I am naught but a slave,

helpless and a bit of a letdown—

even if I have your attention.

Hello is too much, I can’t do it, I say,

my face marked by an anguished frown,

Goodbye hurt too much; hello is no fun.

Hello, from me. Sometimes I forget to smile. 🙂 Selfie by Michelle Garren-Flye.

4 thoughts on “Hello

  1. In life, we often face the challenge of saying goodbye to things we love, but saying hello again can be even harder. Through this struggle, we must remember that every goodbye is an opportunity for a new hello. Thank you, for reminding us of the power and significance of these simple words.

  2. Michelle, this was beautiful as your writing always is.  I like Shalom.  It is both hello and goodbye and welcome and peace….


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