Upon the Death of a Friend, 1986

Of course you were the one to call. It was late, I remember, a rainy night like the last time we met. Cars on the wet, weathered pavement, wipers marking time. Starshine in puddles and you, light years away, saying you knew I’d want to know, knew he’d been important. You knew despite the distance in our orbits, despite our final kiss that birthed a galaxy between us. My heart. You knew.

Poem ©2022, Jen Payne. Image: Mark Plötz.

Poetry Writing


It was just the other summer day
I wondered if your hair turned gray.

If you loved her still enough to stay.

And then as if in cue today,
I saw your car pass my way.
That telltale glance gave you away,
the smile that always could betray.

And I, with so much left to say,
kept still and let this poem aweigh.

Poem ©2020, Jen Payne. Photo by Pedro Figueras from Pexels.
Books Creativity Poetry

24 – How Do You Know a Heart

To know a heart

you start

at the sweet spot

where two meet

become one,

each fills up with the other

if it’s right, a mirror,


of fullness

or open arms,

you move closer then

set down new paths

strong enough

to bear the weight,

to hold up

what you’ve set

in motion,

pull in closer

and closer

to get to the point,

the heart of the matter:

it’s the openness

that holds it all together.

Poem ©2020, Jen Payne. National #NaPoWriMo. National Poetry Writing Month. If you like this poem, you can read similar in my books, available from Three Chairs Publishing on my ETSY SHOP. They come autographed, with gratitude and a small gift.