You always took too long to say goodbye.
You were famous for it,
for the frustration of people who found themselves in your web,
watching you spin another conversation,
from the thin promise of “I’m gonna let you go.”
as you crept into monologues,
about that woman down the shop,
that nobody knows,
but we are expected to,
because you want to tell us an anecdote,
that could probably wait.
Nowadays, I wait,
for a call that never comes,
thinking fondly of the long goodbyes,
trying to force them over the final moments,
when I lay alone in bed,
and someone called quickly,
to say that it was all over.
For the first time,
the final time,
you said goodbye too quickly,
the one time I wanted you to take too long,
you couldn’t stay,
fading from the scene,
from a hospital bed to heaven,
as I listened to your favourite song,
again and again,
unable to say goodbye as quickly as you finally could.