I think that family often comes up when discussing separation. Children leave home and their family behind as they make a life for themselves. You have a bond with your family, given to you through your birth, yet you go away from them. It’s an interesting kind of separation, because the physical distance also becomes emotional distance that allows you to become your own person.
This poem that I’m working on brings up these themes of family and distance:
She describes the way she eats
with her parents as bolting
down food. She leaves the table
before they have finished slicing
up their dripping beef.
Her parents sit, eyes locked
on her empty chair. They feel
that she stabs them in their hearts
with her fork, rinses off the blood,
and places it in the dishwasher.
They pretend that their love
isn’t hardening into lumps of ice
as they shovel broccoli
into the maws of their mouths,
but they wonder if raising
a child is worth this pain.