This evening I reread Sam Hamill’s poem The Orchid Flower. I corresponded with him for years, though we never met. He is among the people who have died whom I cannot bring myself to delete from my email contacts, for reasons I do not understand. When he died in 2018, I wrote this poem:
Elegy for Sam Hamill
Two days ago you breathed out and didn’t breathe in again. You were in your bed at home in Cascadia. I’m on my couch at home in Glasgow, reading a book of your poems, one of the books you put in a package, took to a post office and mailed to me. I find you in the words, and I look for you in the spaces between.