Finalist for the 2015 Walrus Poetry Prize
“The CCP or whatever,” my father says, anxiously. “I’ve been here for fifteen years.”
I remind him that Francis is almost fifteen—his limp little legs unable to get up the streetcar Steps today, my baby, I said, lifting him up—
So it can’t have been that long.
Summer is shuffling forward: in the park we are glanced by a yellow Frisbee and green ball and every day
My mother calls with a smaller voice, to tell me something that Dad said,
“Did I tell you he wrote a poem?” she says and “Do you want to hear it?”
She tells me:
Birds and bees and buffalo weeds.
And today: “Did I tell you your father said he is sitting in front of a big blackboard?”
that it is dark and everything is erased. He can’t remember anything.”
“Oh!” a young girl cried when I lifted my sick baby.
“Oh no,” I think, very quickly before the eraser speeds over,
she is telling the days of his dying—
The spongy rectangle leaves something like sky-writing’s passing,
a faint impression of something urgent in its blown out clouds.