All night my dreams snowed letters. Singly
and in sheaves, envelopes fell into my hands,
big manilas and tissue-thin airmails,
some with Chinese script and Chinese stamps.
Pages folded and signed. On red stationery inside
a red envelope, a shout of congratulations.
And me carrying armfuls to the mailbox.
Waking, I wondered at this paper blizzard.
Mid-day I found my forgotten letter
to you in the bottom of my pack, stamped
and addressed, promises
to visit next spring. And now arrives
the call from your wife—your stroke,
your memorial. Ah, god, Michael,
which is worse, a farewell or none at all?
Maureen Hynes is a past winner of the Gerald Lampert Award and the Petra Kenney Poetry Award. Poems of hers were selected for Best Canadian Poetry 2010 anthology and longlisted for the 2011 edition. Her fourth book of poetry, The Poison Colour, was published by Pedlar Press in the fall of 2015.