Poetry Friday028

A little mixed up with my days this week… hence I posted Sunday Soliloquy on Friday and Poetry Friday on Saturday… hope you don’t mind? Without any further ado, here’s my poetic offering today from my expanding collection of poems that I’m working into a manuscript.

And another gorgeous photo from Joel Clements, shot in Thunder Bay, Ontario.

A Hundred Miles up Spruce River Road

The time you were a hundred
miles up Spruce River Road with a bunch of buddies
came around a corner
Birds ~ Snow Ptarmigan ~
blinding white on the first dusting of October snow
I once saw a white like that
on a stone grizzled with ice crystals

It stopped all of you in your tracks
The sheer blessing of that moment
not one itchy trigger finger
feast of souls

Tracking stopped when
you gave your guns to your brother
left you having to ask
left you
ripped like lichen from bedrock
roots exposed and drying up
like empty bones.

I hear them rattle when you speak.

You tell stories now, take
long drives down back roads, county lines
out past Trout Lake and down to the Lappe Store
Old man in the Pontiac,
Full tank, time to kill
like you once killed birds.

You called Ministry of Natural resources
The clerk, hard as shield rock and just as immovable
advised you,
(in no uncertain terms)
that you couldn’t buy a game tag without owning a gun

I know the talk, hear it sometimes on Sunday mornings.

Blood pumping red with adrenaline
bureaucratic double speak poking
that part of you that used to come alive in
pine and birch
aspen fir and poplar,
You told the guy to ‘Go to hell’, and hung up the phone.

Tomorrow you might head down to Shebandowan,
cousin there catches walleye worthy of tall tales
you’ll bring one home,
fry it up for supper.

Lesley-Anne Evans
October 2010

Poetry Friday015

Garage sale Harry

What’s the measure of a life anyway? Can you find proof in
Stuffed bags of mason jars, or the patina of well used garden tools at $2 a piece?
I don’t know what to say to you
as we stand on the driveway of the house where you
plowed furrows into the garden with the rototiller, sowed and tended and helped her
Preserve abundance in matching canning jars and fruit
pies set on the counter to cool. The ‘Sold’ sign’s up, resulting in
This Saturday morning bargain basement sale of your life stuff… is this the end… really?

Leaves me filled with sympathy like spoon fed mush, unappetizing to the likes of you.

I make small talk. You look slightly pained, as if longing for closure.

As for her, death might be more humane, as they say, “A Blessing.”
Her children, mere acquaintances.
Grandchildren are strangers, and it’s like a coma,
A lingering death… mind going going gone. For now
At least she knows you sometimes when you visit the sterile room where they keep her tucked in safe.

The worst part for you aren’t her blank stares or angry questions, but
The dirt under her fingers nails that will soon be scrubbed clean by competent staff, washing away more evidence of the farmer’s wife you’ve loved since Kamloops.

Lesley-Anne Evans
July 2010

American Gothic, by Grant Wood 1930