May 2011

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Joey died here

Joey died here
on a half moon night
with half his rum
still open on the table
and a joker and queen
in the kitchen sink
and two dead spiders
floating in his glass.
The OPP suspected foul play
someone he knew or
someone from the old brick
rehab place up the road.
Maybe they still do and
maybe there is a box
on a shelf somewhere
with dates and notes
and his old wool tuque
and Darryl Sittler jersey
and the square-toed
boot print they took
from the staircase.
Joey died here
10 years ago
with the moon
gaunt in the oak trees
and the Rideau dark and
angry with the runoff and
Sheila crazed in a cruiser
babbling about two tail lights
she saw flying over the tracks
towards Smiths Falls.

© 2011

After school

We stepped off blind
from the old wooden steps
into dreams and tragedies
crouching like drums in
mystic wells of light
above the Brookfield woods,
no maps or mirrors for
our young eyes, no words
to wedge in untried ears.
We did not count
the lumber trucks
or taste the boiling dust
that soiled the evergreens
along the aching fence lines.
We snapped like dogs
at the dangling days and
dared the times to catch us,
gone with the wind
and a few hot coins out
into the electric freeway,
sins of the father,
songs of the night,
we all are invincible
for an hour at morning
before the mourning comes.
The gold is old, the glitter new.
We spin the wheel,
we kick our heels and swill
the hot white foam of life
through straws that flash
from bottles dark as night.

© 2011