Published 6:30, Aug. 2, 2023

The trays of coloured pencils on the table.
Your list of lakes and waterways. Careful

not to come too close to coastlines—I crudely
shade the bigger bays and basins—surround

the land you’ve laboured at in Copenhagen blue.
Another year of middle school—and now—

like last October—I try to help out how I can—
attempt to be of use. On Sundays—back in ’82— 

I’d waken with the chickadees—their chorus—
snip the strapping on an outsized bale of papers— 

get them loaded for my morning route. My father
never lay in late. Unshaven—with a picnic mug

of Folgers—he’d sit and thumb the funnies—pull
his boots on in the entry when I ambled into view.

Together—in our solitudes—we’d throw the last
few bundles in the hatchback—cruise the boulevards

and crescents as if looking for a runaway—the old man
slowing down for me to bring the world the news.


Phillip Crymble
Phillip Crymble is a physically disabled writer and literary scholar living in Fredericton, New Brunswick. Not Even Laughter (2016) was his first full-length collection.