CHANGE ISLANDSSo named because I’ve heardpeople here changedislands by season, wintered
on the South and on the hingeof spring swung to this NorthIsland, exposed to the slap
of the sea, then back. No one on the path.
Past small graveyards I sleep
by sea urchin skeletons, give
no thought to the phalanx
of cloud coming on. No grief,
except my pail lacks
the partridgeberries I seek.
In Chaffey’s Cove, lobster traps
of broken slats and twine slack
with age, perhaps ripped
by tide, invite my hand inside:
bedroom, kitchen, parlour
where they took bait, and died.
Except the small one who, lured
by herring, tangled in the rooms,
jerked toward a slitted heaven
and found a hatch, a moon
to slip through into a haven
of sea, flux in the gulch, in
and out, applause of water
over stones and surge, again,
again, no house, no mortar,
feast of red-berries, heave
of tide, like Plath’s stunned flies
I believe in heaven, here.From The New Canon: An Anthology of Canadian Poetry (2005) by Barbara Nickel.