and I love you
In honour of Poetry Month,
here’s a poem, in your favourite list-form
(and yes, I’ve adopted Canadian spellings just for you)
1. It speaks to the depth of your soul that you reached out and touched me. I still remember that first review you left.
2. I used to associate you with your icon. Now I associate you with grey sweaters and nimble hands, that expression on your face that tells of travels and travails.
3. Travails. I didn’t want to use that word, travails. I don’t mean it in the way of childbirth. Your love for A and L is written deep. It’s in your writing.
4. There’s a made-up proverb stuck in my head: “The cup that holds the sweetest wine must be burned the deepest.”
5. You never talk about your childhood. Sometimes I wonder why. Sometimes, I wonder about those three theses and how you spent your college years.
6. There’s a sense, a deep undercurrent, that you’ve changed drastically. DrB told me that I’m resilient. I see this in you too.
7. Because generosity like the depth of your soul doesn’t come without a cost. A familiarity with the barrenness of poverty and worlds bereft of dragonflies and tiger lilies.
8. Enough about the past. I remember that adorable picture of A and L, your descriptions of Chinese New Years with the neighbors, the three of them playing loud games. And laughter. “Exhausted and happy. It was lovely.”
9. DrB is having twins!! I mean, his wife. The thought of mpreg... no. Just, no.
10. It just occurred to me—you never talk about your sisters either.
11. And then I remember this: “For A, who is complicated and kind and gentle, / and for L, who is small and not yet complicated and still sweet as a button... / I squeeze you both like apple juice.”
12. You told me this: “Opening yourself to the possibility, opening like fingers peeling away from your face to see the sun with new eyes, can happen. I promise.”
And I wonder what your world was like, what your story is, what you found in theses and choices, and how you see the sun.
Who are you, that you post a poem about stones and water and barns with souls, automobiles of grease and fire, birds and leaves of grass, herons without breasts? Who are you, that in writing a poem for you, I find there are gaps, but I still feel I’ve seen part of your soul?