POEM: “Peace of Mind” — But mostly it’s cuz I will fail to fall apart / To rush to save another with carpenter hands and Carhartts

Loui Jover - Death of a Poet


Tonight, I’m so happy I could cry.
And it’s not from the romance of streets
in Montreal along Parc Lafontaine and people
on Bixi, and me in a blazer blazing fashionable taking my dinner
comfortable- on vélo then shopping at the Rachelle-Berry food store.

It’s not my mug of tea and a good book by the lake
in the Parc where lovers wander and old women take
their dogs for walks as the sun sets on the pond.
It’s not the quiet silent nights of sleep
in Plateau Mont Royal and the summer breeze.

It’s that I’ve got my skull – and his is hacked off his brain by injury.
It’s that I have my health – and hers became cervical pain in disease.
I have my senses – and his dad is going insane.
I have my sobriety – and his is always derailed.

It’s that I make enough in two months to pay your reno.
That I can love you with strength, and touch, and good food.
That I could support you in finances, understanding, and good moods
And you’ve got a gadet in the pocket of your Carhartts.

But mostly it’s cuz I will fail to fall apart
To rush to save another with carpenter hands and Carhartts
To play co-dependent and to be a man’s saviour:
Who wants to fuck your lover when she’s your therapist?

Tonight, I’m so happy I could cry.
Because I get to feel a real man divulging and pride.
His standards high. His patience that ends with his slice:
an unapologetic stance of where he’s at – and he is right.

Just to feel a desire to make love to the grumpy man
to save his tired ass with a vacation and a sun tan
to want to fuck his frown upside down – with a laugh
To just sit there, eating, listening to him rant.

And I know that look when the man is engaged
His eyes roving on me, smiling: says I’m effervescent!
When they are intrigued by my energy and full of LIFENESS
This one was watching TV, bagged, and tired as shit.

Tonight I’m so happy I could cry.
Cuz there’s few if any to whom I could let fly.
And Oli and Rhys in London they’d abide
Reading ‘thousands upon thousands’ of my words, and a million times –

Gave me peace of mind.

And the man with the thing in his pants and his tuque
Let me chat at length first and asked questions too.
Always a back and forth and a shared moment or few
A man who knows he cannot settle down with you.

A man who like you, wants to flee – him to Vancouver.
Who is tired of short Ottawa summers – and the winter.
A man who like you, sees folks around falling short
of standards, and similarities in hard work.

Who like you has his project on
and many of the people around
have no idea of the effort and dedication
but when we come together

or try to — I understand.
So many decades of me loving good men
and those good men always giving me my way
Instead this time I could flex to his delay
Protect his needs and his schedule, and pace

Tonight I’m so happy I could cry
to have enough of a very good life
going on that I’m not on stand by
instead: breathing and taking my time.


Sylvie Hill, November 4, 2018

Image: Loui Jover