Monday, September 03, 2012



Might as well serve up another batch!

Another ripe tomato
from the new bed
opens to the knife
like it’s been waiting
for this moment
since it was a tiny
yellow flower against
a pungent forest of leaves
a bit bashful
but more than ready
to dance if asked

Black lace mantilla
for that sultry/demure pious look.
A white cloth-flowered tiara
for the Christmas-Easter 2-step.
Something with fur for winter.
I thought of these tonight
the air coming in the window
suddenly cool with the promise
of fall fast followed by frost,
conjure black mantilla,
praise tiara for promising spring.

Because she hated cooking
she over-cooked everything
but soft-boiled eggs
—spinach, way past wilt,
    slouched on the plate
—liver screamed and tried
    to get out of the pan,
    a last-minute leap to look
    at life before leather

But soft-boiled eggs—
she left them soggy 
with the weight of their own
slick, ready to run

 Afterwards she thanked
the various icons of her
personal belief system
for leading her to Rod
whose mother sewed curtains
for Eatons and Simpson Sears
and got her the occasional discount
on dry goods.
For some, the pinnacle
of achievement was
“a chicken in every pot”.
For her, it was a curtain
on every window.

Across the lake the once-a-day now
train bleats in the way of
laboring ewe, gathers
itself, heads east on ties
that bind to a national legend.

This moment
the lone, loud goose flying
over almost ripple-free water
gentle sounds of morning…
what if, just once,
the whole planet was like this
what if we learned how
to swim, all of us,
in the human sea

I do not swoon.
I have never perfected 
the forehead-brushing
hand manoeuvre that must
accompany such an event.
One day I shall have it all—
the wrist, a velvet couch
on which I’ll recline
until the feeling passes,
and a story about
the time I swooned.

Frugal may seem ugly
but compare it to words like ignorance,
prejudice, child soldiers,
tornado, mountain slide,
Altzheimer’s, serial killer,
F-35’s, Enbridge,
fatal overdose or
amputation and it starts
to sound more like some
kind of dainty cake.

Could she have left them
by the sink in the bathroom
where she took a tepid shower
because it was so hot
for January, must have hit 7°
Perhaps she mailed them
to her doctor who had told
her her body temperature
never changed during those
interminable hot sweats
and wasn’t that interesting.
Well, no, it wasn’t, but
that didn’t stop her sending
them over Niagara Falls!


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