The Child and the Man

As a tot, inspired by some adventure In a picture book, you buried treasure Far in the back of your parents’ unkempt yard. You dug bare handed, and the soil …

The Walrus (Volume 11, Number 5)

As a tot, inspired by some adventure
In a picture book, you buried treasure
Far in the back of your parents’ unkempt yard.
You dug bare handed, and the soil was hard
And cracked your nails, but you got it done.
Into the hole you dropped a few bright coins,
A plastic GI Joe; re-piled the dirt on top;
Made plans to dig them up, but then forgot.

You grew; your parents ailed. Returning home,
You tried to find your treasure, on a whim.
The trove was there. But you’d remembered wrong:
There were no coins, no soldier. Just the bones
Of a wounded bird you’d found and crushed, its song
Still seeping as your boot came down.

This appeared in the June 2014 issue.

Peter Norman
Peter Norman is the author of a novel, Emberton, and three poetry collections.

Enjoy What You’re Reading?

Fact-based journalism is our passion and your right.

We feature Canadian voices and expertise on stories that travel beyond our shores, and we firmly believe that this reporting can change the world around us. The Walrus covers it all with originality, depth, and thoughtfulness, bringing diverse perspectives to bear on essential conversations while setting the highest bar for fact-checking and rigour.

We’re asking readers like you to support The Walrus so we can continue to lead the Canadian conversation.
Every contribution makes a difference.
Please support The Walrus today. Thank you.
Donations of $20 or more will receive a charitable tax receipt.