The last I heard from Ruth Eddy was
her voice in the U-Haul’s tinny speaker
as I passed out of broadcast range
after years of faithful listening and
calling her every Thursday afternoon
asking for some Lady Day or maybe
some Etta, especially if it was rainy.
Sometimes she’d just read my mind,
put on exactly what I needed to hear,
lead into it with something like,
“I know Ron.’s out there somewhere,
and he’s just dying to hear this.”
It was the beginning of October and
I’d already been driving over an hour.
The station was fading. I could barely
make it out, but I could hear her
saying something about driving north,
something about leaving her behind,
something about never, ever forgetting.
Then all I heard was Joni Mitchell.
“If your head says forget it
but your heart’s still smokin’,
call me at the station–
the lines are open”