Lost count I have of the number of times I have renewed for a ten-year period my United States of America passport. I have had a passport since spring 1974. Must have been, say, four renewals through the decades. I am currently good through 2024. And who can say, by 2024 I may not need to renew the document. By then I might just have a Canadian passport.
Wow, one month from today I will participate in the graduation ceremony for my current senior English IV students, and when done that day I will be fully retired. One month. Then the following day I fly to Victoria, British Columbia, to find housing and sign a lease.
In the meantime there is not much to do other than teach school my final month. I have some forty odd packed boxes duly labeled for the move in June. I have attended already to such things as eliminating monthly recurring drafts for nonessentials (like monthly massages) and made sure all my various insurance policies are in due order. In March my applications with the Canadian immigration and Visa officials were duly sent. I’ve made my last cycle of medical and dental visits and printed out hardcopies of my histories for the move. I even earlier made my “Goodbye Texas” tour at Spring Break to see family and forever friends not living here in Midland. So, I am simply in wait mode for June to arrive. Guess I will read a few more novels and a bunch of short stories in the meantime.
Looking back I am not too pleased with the poetic qualities of Expatriate Dreams; that one can use some rethinking and revision. Guess I can do that too. But for today, here is another poem with which I am quite pleased in the form of an “ode.” Odes are poems which praise a person, thing, or abstract idea. This one praises a thing, a tangible material object.
Signature of Bearer
Signature Du Titulaie
Firma Del Titular
Not Valid Until Signed.
I with proud ebony ink
my first, then middle, then
last name thereon inscribed
Now Valid Now Signed.
220802356 my official number
Department of State approved
Nationality—[snare drum roll]
The United States of America.
Quite thin, dark blue cover gold leaf
an eagle with olive branch and arrows
displays our elegant—Seal of America—
merely 3-½ by 5 inches tall and wide.
My smiling photograph inside
Date & place of birth my gender
Valid until the sixth day of February
Ten glorious years on into my future.
Immigration Officer stamps within
Heathrow/Gatwick airports in London
Charles De Gaul International Paris
Ports of call in Canada, Brazil, Scotland.
Tattered, worn by frequent use still
Property of the U.S. Government
On loan to me as is my very life
on loan from God—I must journey.
Travel on through days wend my ways
through God’s gift of life carrying always
My faith & my praise thankful to both
God and to my nation for my Passport.
© January 2010, G. Randall Willis