The Things We Owe Each Other

By Jimmy Pappas

Two blank sticky notes on a desk next to a computer keyboard and earphones.

(This poem contains suicide.)

Everyone owed me a call.
That’s what she wrote,
her suicide note of sorts
posted on a sticky pad
attached to a box
of Christmas presents
she never mailed out.

That’s how it all works,
isn’t it? We owe each other
things: the book we borrowed
long ago that we kept holding on
to always certain we would read it,
attention, money, get-togethers,
Sunday dinners planned long ago,
reunions, reminders of how
much we loved each other,
anniversary celebrations,
social hours on a back porch
reminiscing about the days
we thought we’d live forever,
the phone call we kept putting off
in the hope that some day–
maybe some day soon–
we might actually make it.

Category: Featured, Poetry