“Out of the Country” by Karla Linn Merrifield
No surprise, you agree to meet me at the pub
on Dundas after I arrive, short-notice,
on the last flight into Toronto before the storm
slams your city shut for the duration,
and well after your night class at the conservatory
on Bernstein’s The Unanswered Question,
his renowned Harvard lecture series, which always
makes you break out into the weepies.
We’ll be two of a kind in simultaneous
spasms of grief, yours twenty-five years old,
mine only yesterday – twin points
in time dirtied with words incinerated,
smudged by the mute notes of ash.
We make believe like we did in high school.
Another dram later, an hour’s more drift
of snow below Ontario’s sleeping smokestacks,
you finger a piano that is our table, a first few bold notes;
I scribble a few quick lines, and our masters come alive.
in memoriam Phillip Levine
Karla Linn Merrifield, a nine-time Pushcart-Prize nominee and National Park Artist-in-
Residence, has had 600+ poems appear in dozens of journals and anthologies. She has 12 books
to her credit, the newest of which is Bunchberries, More Poems of Canada, a sequel
toGodwit: Poems of Canada (FootHills), which received the Eiseman Award for
Poetry. Forthcoming this fall is Psyche’s Scroll, a full-length poem, published by The Poetry
Box Selects. She is assistant editor and poetry book reviewer for The Centrifugal Eye. Visit her
blog, Vagabond Poe Redux, athttp://karlalinn.blogspot.com. Google her name to learn more;