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For Sarah Mclachlan

A poem

Published on:
April 22, 2019
Read time:
1 min.
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Lilith Fairer than the rest
A mystery built upon the beams of five chords
Grace notes, without exception
Each phrase a container
Desire and regret, cloud and calm

Let the world have Gwen and her Orange County sneer
Let Alanis tire herself out with the angst and the wailing
Let Jewel put on her PJs and hop into bed
Let Sheryl have all the fun she’s ever wanted

Give me Sarah
Substance a style all her own
Willowy, worldly
Like warm breath against Canadian winter windows

Sarah, I do believe I’ve failed you
Sarah, I know I’ve let you down
They don’t play her on adult contemporary radio
Our quality time has nothing to do with VH1 rotations
(Not nothing. Little to do.)
But she puts flesh on the bones of every love song I’ve ever heard

No goodbyes, just I-will-remember-yous
You soundtrack the animal cruelty commercials of my heart
Every time I reach for “Surfacing” or “Mirror Ball,”
reminders of every full-throated, five-chord dream
Of fumbling toward an ecstasy you spurred, but weren’t meant to finish

Aarik Danielsen
Aarik Danielsen is the arts and music editor at the Columbia Daily Tribune in Columbia, Missouri. He is a writer, editor, and curator concerned with the intersection of faith, culture, and human dignity. Follow him on Twitter or read more from Aarik on Facebook.

Cover photo by Adi Goldstein.

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