Kevin Shyne, “The Minuet before Good-bye”

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The Minuet before Good-bye

On Sunday afternoon
my daughter calls me back
while making lunches,
saving every penny
for treks she takes
to destinations off the grid.
Clinking in the background
is her butter knife, the clapper
in a bell of mayonnaise
nine hundred miles away.

Her voice, bejeweled
by her audacity,
rolls through me in a rising tide.
I stream like seaweed in her current.
Our catch-up conversation
crests on words
more said than understood.
You have her eyes…
the last time you were here…
the years go flying by.

On another day, her hand in mine,
our faces close,
her bucket full of shells,
she held one to my ear.
I said, “Hello, is this the ocean?”

But now she has to go.
Friends are waiting at the door.
She says goodbye,
not wanting me to hear
their rollicking commotion.
The phone held to my ear,
I strain to hear the ocean.


Kevin Shyne is a lifelong writer whose work once appeared frequently in corporate annual reports and employee newsletters. Turning to poetry in his retirement, Kevin has had poems published in The Lyric, Poetry Breakfast, Poetry Porch, and The Avocet. Kevin lives in a small town in the corn-and-soybean heart of the Midwest, where, along with a group of fellow poets, he helped organize the first-ever poetry event for the Prairie Arts Council in Princeton, Illinois.



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