Winner of the 2016 Walrus Poetry Prize Readers’ Choice Award
You are driving a bus across Alberta,
deciding between seasons, plucking aphids and roses.
Over mountains I feel the peak of a horizon before it
breaks in half and spits up floes of mayflies.
You keep vultures at bay with cigarette butts,
throw darts for chops in every rusted legion.
Never step in the same puddle of warm beer twice
we learned the sticky way.
Gasoline rainbows the road, a clock made of stone,
a chair swivels in two official languages.
I write the word rich instead of king
and it becomes an act of will.
I’m sure I found ticks of whiplash under my skin.
I may never drive again.
While you are driving, you split the night
into finer units of night.
The Hal Jackman Foundation, committed to fostering creativity and enriching our community through the arts, has generously supported the prize since its inauguration. The foundation also supports poetry in every issue of The Walrus.
This appeared in the January/February 2017 issue.