Poems

daily-bird-for-james001

Illustration by Leila Peacock

 

Daily Bird of Imagination

 

A little girl comes in without a coat, pushes in among

the cold knees.

 

Pluck my feathers!

 

Who she belongs to?

No one’s mind,

until she sprouts emerald green feathers.

This you can’t help but

stop and watch.

 

She flies, heavily at first, circles overhead

around the coffee shop.

 

People drop to the floor, swat at her.

She lands on your table a great green bird still wearing shoes.

 

Pluck my feathers!

 

Pluck and examine a bright breast feather,

look back at her.

A little girl again,

you’ve known her whole life.

 

You, come just for coffee,

didn’t even know you had a little girl.

 

––

 

 

 

james_3am-copy

(Illustration by Sophie Laplante – click to expand)

 

3AM in the Modern Sleep

 

A careful child walks across my pillow.

I lie awake, humbled by the loyalty of my cactus

in a red tin by the window.

 

Leah lies in a deep daze

out on red wine

mid-sentence, telling me

I treat my wolves like sleigh dogs.

 

Snow falls from her brow,

collects in the basins of her eyes.

The child stoops from her cheek to blow

it away.

 

I hold the salt of our situation to my tongue,

the pepper to my nose:

How we trade hurt.

 

I hold the little boy up in my palm,

to my chin as he squirms.

And I can’t for my life think

what we’ll do with him when the morning comes.

___

 

 

 

(illustration by Sahra Campbell – click to expand)

 

People Used To Forget

 

People used to forget.

You’d hear the story from Benny,

just back from New Battleford, Saskatchewan.

He went to town, now he has a new horse.

The facts weren’t really the point.

 

He’d be at the four corners by the fuel pump,

next to the horse

and a yellow, moiled plain,

mostly just under sky,

and tell a different story every time.

 

First just Aaron Mumby stopped forgetting.

You’d see him standing nearby with a pencil and paper

when no-matter-who said no-matter-what.

 

Before long they had to build a library.

They also built a statue of Aaron Mumby.

 

Now even Dickie, the idiot remembers.

The internet has all his thoughts saved

so we can remember them too.

 

 

 

 

 

 

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