after Lucinda Williams
I need to be a better poet if the good poets are dying too soon. I only have so much time left. None of the above is acceptable. The language isn’t specific, it’s dull. My subject is banal. I haven’t made this into a poem just a box to stow away my feelings. A ham-fisted elegy to a friend who I’d rather be e-mailing. He’s become another ghost in my inbox.
I’d like the scotch neat please. a toast to a kin(dred), even though alcohol is forbidden to me now. I will have to drink his heady words instead, returning to the dog-eared pages of his books and the inscriptions he wrote to me and dated, so I remember each time I saw him, each conversation in the Royal Oak, at the National Library, in hospitality suites in Ottawa and Kingston, on a train heading west.
I was thinking of my friend off and on this spring as the snow melted and the sidewalks cleared. I told him about the scooters when they first appeared in Ottawa. He seemed delighted. The day after he died I imagined him roaring along on a scooter up Sparks to Darcy McGee’s in one of those bright blue shirts he always wore for readings. The sky today is Steven Heighton reading shirt blue.
Amanda Earl (she/her) is a big fan of Steven Heighton's. She also writes and publishes folks. More info at AmandaEarl.com.