by Joanna Gilman Hyde

“Astro, who was that man?”

Who was that man I met in the library

in Meteghan?

That man who took me

to Sip Cafe

and held my hand

saying he was 500 years old?

He smelled of wood smoke

like my son

and kissed my hairband

when I asked if he was married.

“Astro, who was that man?”

Who took me to Halifax

for Valentine’s Day

to eat chicken Spanakopita

to contemplate skating

when we said we were from Digby


I in my long white fake fur coat

and long red sparkly scarf


he in his black Columbia

worn for the first time

a daughter’s gift

“Astro, who was that man?”

Who read my essay on Jealousy

and brushed my hair

and looked at me with reverence?

We walked the beach

when we got home

bundled up

and I darned his sock

and fixed the snags

in his Irish dark blue sweater

the colour of his eyes.

“Astro, who was he?”