Five Years Later

Benevolence now, a spaciousness between us,
the capacity to chat and laugh on the phone,
going over details and arrangements, mutual
friends arriving tomorrow. The ancient enmity
and clinging rejection gone, the all or nothing,
desire and resistance, gone. A communion
devoid of creed. Behind his words, I hear his
kitchen door clattering, a female hello. Oh,
there's C___, he says. His girlfriend. His voice
limping with sudden tension, nervousness like
an old war wound acting up. He knows I don't
want him, but worries anyway that I'll be hurt.
A kind man, though protecting himself, having
been burned by me before. I'll let you go, I say
into the phone, meaning it more than I know.
~ Sharon McCartney

Sharon McCartney is the author of For and Against (2010, Goose Lane Editions), The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder (2007, Nightwood Editions), Karenin Sings the Blues (2003, Goose Lane Editions) and Under the Abdominal Wall (1999, Anvil Press). In 2008, she received the Acorn/Plantos People's Prize for poetry for The Love Song of Laura Ingalls Wilder. Poems from her current manuscript, Gravitas, were longlisted for the 2010 CBC Literary Awards. She lives in Fredericton, New Brunswick.

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