Sunday 3 April 2016

Sunday Poem

Trying to escape an insect’s hunger,
the thrum of his gallop is like hail across Nairobi’s tin roofs,
like salsa dancers burning alive on scuffed hardwood,
old women arguing on a corner in Chinatown,
the clatter of sticks in road hockey, breaks in the pool hall,
like rooting around the Tupperware drawer, like when
the girl dropped her polka-dotted laptop in the parking lot,
or when fifteen horses jumped from the Bow River bridge
and plummeted ten metres on their way to the Calgary Stampede,
or when you tripped over the box of Christmas ornaments,
the plosive pop of their shined red glass
or like the sawtoothed corners from the curses that followed,
like your brother learning Teenage Wasteland on electric guitar,
like the kid next door who skateboards down the sidewalk
at midnight while his mother sits on the stoop
and tells the gel-haired bachelors she loves them,
like dropping enough nickels into the pay phone
for a long distance call to Sault Ste. Marie or the braided river
of semis and cars that cascade by without stopping
and the pothole puddles detonate and retreat into form. 
Collapsing into the creek, the bull crumples.
His breath becoming the sound of you
in the kitchen this morning, washing the cutting board;
you come back, lie down, your hair spilling across my pillow,
a glacier melting the sand off its skin.

By Richard Kemick, from Caribou Run (Icehouse, 2016)

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