I’m writing this in my head
somewhere between Belleville and Oshawa
as Leonard Cohen croons to me
on the stereo about missing something.
I’m trying to put this
together in verse;
it’s the only way that makes sense.
Maybe because the songs he sings are too good,
or I’m still affected by the last time I had
strep throat and we read
Susan Musgrave poems in bed.
So much for swearing
that I’ll never write like this again.
I wonder why she ends her phrases
the way she does,
about whether her titles come from
those clever little moments,
Maybe I can figure out how they do it
and I can express what it felt like to hug
her before leaving,
about how I didn’t realize how hard I was
doing it until I let go and felt her
She wouldn’t admit that she’d miss me
until I did it first. She had
said it more than me, last time, you see.
She had paid it forward,
now it was time for me to pay it back.