For Eva Cassidy

Why, oh, why did you leave
Eva? When you hit that high
note in “Over the Rainbow”
and carry it out to infinity,
I cry. You call to the heavens
and I call with you, “Why, oh,
why?” You were so young when
you died; how did you know?
I know you knew; I could hear
it in your voice — the voice of
a she-wolf crying in the wild-
erness and when I hear your
protest, your stance, the de-
mand, the call to eternal account,
Job’s protest, I lift my hands
in protest and affirmation. Yes!
I only wish you had stayed for
many more years instead of
flying over that rainbow leav-
ing me to sing your last line,
“Why oh, why, can’t I?”

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