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Summer 2015

Hail and Farewell

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freely from Catullus and Paul McCartney

Of course you’d pick a place where they don’t serve beer.
Three flights, two shitty boat rides, one month’s pay,
Palmed out in petty bribes, to get me here,
And I can’t afford to stay more than a day.
Remember that song Dad liked—You say goodbye,
I say hello
—how he’d draw out every word
When he sang it in the car? Hello, hello!
I’ve had it in my head ever since I heard.
Goodbye, I don’t know why… Well, I have to go.
If Dad were here, he’d know just what to say,
Something to do with the dust and wind and sun,
Something that’s not a lie or a cliché,
But I’m not Dad, and you’re not anyone.
You can’t hear a word I say. I don’t know why.

—Matthew Buckley Smith

Matthew Buckley Smith is the author of Dirge for an Imaginary World, winner of the 2011 Able Muse Book Award. His poems have appeared in Beloit Poetry Journal, Commonweal, Southern Poetry Review, and Best American Poetry. He lives in Carrboro, North Carolina, with his wife and daughter.

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