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Saying Goodbye To Pain

D. C. Reid
From:   Open 24 Hours. Fredericton, NB: Broken Jaw Press, 1997.


                — for Patrick and Deborah

The last poem opens to departure, a train station I have never been to, and steam
            upon the window,
                                                 the sound of a straw broom
over broken pavement.
                                      The phone call I received unexpectedly,
                                                                                                 and early,
asking for a ticket away.
                                    Little brown eyes. I could have called her this,
sung her this song:
                          how we love the heart when it breaks in us;
                                                                                                    how longing
chains us to the moment it takes over,
                                                             landscape blurring outside the window.
The whistle moves through itself,
                                     a voice that feels its clearing,
                                                                        a record on which a finger is pushed.
There is a certain amount of time
                                               as the station is relinquished.
                                                                                        The time it takes
to reach the point steadily,
                                      crossing whatever land there is.
How hard the wooden bench,
                                          this deuxième classe, how unattainable but necessary
her destination.
                              Rubbing a square window in an arc of wave,
                                                                                                   the child is safe
from the knowledge
                                     that life falls away from itself.
                                                                                               Not to speak
in the brown-eyed world
                                      would be to reach not resolution,
                                                                                        bread,
                                                                                                    "Goodbye."



D. C. Reid's works copyright © to the author.


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