I’ve heard hello like a whisper

half out of its holster.

Snow says it that way.

Bells go crazy with it, driving

pigeons out of the steeple.

Hello, hello, I do, I do.

Watching our beautiful neighbor

go by in snow boots,

I shout and wave.

Hello has a way,

if I don’t hurry,

of turning into goodbye.

Up close I say hello

and I have told her

everything I know.

George Mills

A retired anthropology professor-turned-landscaper, the quixotic George Mills was a well-loved figure in the Vineyard poetry community. Until his death in 2001, George and his wife Florrie shared a small home in Oak Bluffs, where they hosted frequent gatherings of poets, musicians, activists, and other thinkers.