So Good to See You by Lex Runciman

So Good to See You

The purple, cherry red,
the pale white, dark throat, tangerine, and pink –

every blooming azalea and rhody you have ever seen –
gather them.

And the leaves, oak leaves, maples – the lacy
and the fat hands, cottonwood and all the cotton,

and willow, madrone, rowan and plane, gather them
and the conifers together – gather all your losses,

every wave of wave-wash Pacific, December to July,
cold or warm, foam diamondy and sidereal,

every greeting, those welcome tonal shifts,
subtle maneuvers in the muscles of a face.

Hold your losses, for they want to escape, and as they do,

let them: let goodbye be return, be hello, so good to see you.
Goodbye, hello, so good to see you.


Lex Runciman’s selected poems, Salt Moons, was published in 2017 by Salmon Poetry. An earlier volume won the Oregon Book Award. Recent poems have appeared in such places as The Gettysburg Review, Hotel Amerika, Dime Show Review, Poetry Ireland Review, Windfall, and Valparaiso Poetry Review. With his wife of 50 years, he lives in Portland, Oregon.