One track mind

Tell out loud how good coffee lingers like nicotine fingers. Remember now how a curly head kid had to keep up with Dad, no proffered hand, in a strange land of cigars and racing forms. *Outta my way, kid.* And men behind wickets spat out the tickets but seldom gave us money back. And now,... Continue Reading →

Waste not, want not

For his end time, we flocked together from our compass points, and gathered by his bedside. Like the fresh faces on Auntie Em's farm after Dorothy's dream. In his life, he must have dreamt us into something that held him happy until this day. His plugs and wires and tubes seemed connected to an underground... Continue Reading →

Hero

A scene of old develops and sharpens. It's the start of some chapter in a boy's learning. This memory is of being ten. It has cold misty rains at a train station. The buying of a ticket with nickels and quarters and wide eyes. He is going to see El Cid in Montreal by himself,... Continue Reading →

My Man

hunch up those shoulders carry that hollow barrel chest on spindly trembling legs practice your ghostly motions stare obscenely out of eyes like yellowed olives your gates are closed for good and i stand holding you up listening to disconnected mutter while you piss black tar dribbling onto the floor and you say "I'm sorry"... Continue Reading →

Gifts of today

      In yard-high drifts, the small chittering tracks of a resident rabbit, filling in  quickly with the blowing snow. I follow, stupidly bootless, right around the house until I see where it shelters. Our spreading birch, in this blizzard, shows out as a sketchy charcoal drawing, and our miserable cat stares out from... Continue Reading →

a failure of foresight

Don't kill yourself, (they said), when he went out to do the walkway in the dark. One upstairs, with Netflix on the headphones. The other snoring in her pillow chair. Most of the neighbourhood in for the night. The odd car, trucking bags of groceries or kids to piano lessons. So no one found him,... Continue Reading →

Apartment for rent

Erica has her own key to her own apartment, on the strength of a job letter. No more nightly pay, unwanted bottles, fancy but fouled dresses. She sits in the arbourite kitchen with a half jar of instant and ten cigarettes. As a spotted pigeon taps the window, Erica takes stock. Of unfinished school, desperate... Continue Reading →

Memento

When they went to clean out the dead man's room, one could see their noses wrinkle from the smell of his cigar years.  There was sweeping and wall washing to be done, but the first thing was to get that stuck window open.  Brother John was dispatched to the hardware for a crowbar.  Their old... Continue Reading →

Muffled rumors

and, why did you cry when you saw that cute little girl in the TV commercial? She was laughing and happy, but you cried. In these bumbling years of ours, never would you talk about being a kid. But someone who knew told, in a monotone, about closets locked from the inside, and fist-sized holes... Continue Reading →

Ember month

Sundown at Nipissing's shoreline, and the big lake begins its freeze. The soft fire of November's embers pleases the eye, but can't warm us. I stand in the cold cold sand that waits for winter's cover, and think of unimportant things: that there will be no more drifting things, maybe until June. And, where do... Continue Reading →

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