The young father
running into his ex
and their little boy,
the anxiety
to connect with his son.
A desperation,
eerily familiar.
It broke my heart.

I know you are spooking me.
I can’t keep chalking up
everything to coincidence,
down to the moment
my path intersected his,
after the precision of
every previous minute
up and down
the grocery store aisles,
after pausing in the driveway
to fill the front left tire
with exactly what it needed,
and driving in the lunchtime
traffic, the timing of the lights.

No, every moment
was a perfect animation
of providence, intended
to fix my attention.

But I did not mind—
in fact, I welcomed
the bewilderment, followed
keenly by sleepy Anguish,
who had been nestled
in a box marked “Past”.
I don’t let her out
because she becomes
too difficult to contain.

This note to you
is as much freedom as I can
afford to allow Her.

So spook me—
don’t stop.

Keep showing up.
I would sooner be troubled
than to feel you slip away
to more distant worlds.

Claire Juno, © 2021