Saturday, February 26, 2011

Toast and Jam

The aspen by the lake
filters the morning sun
gold upon his lovely cheeks

His coffee cup trembles
as he sips and tells me the same old stories
for the first time

I nod and bear
the significance like a custodian sworn
and consider the meaning of my own pallid life

What does it mean
to leap from a bridge
shamed and impoverished as the land lay wasting

And tormented for quilted coats
and shoes wrapped with desperation
and binder twine

Or light a cigarette
for a friend torn and bleeding at your feet,
a farm boy who would die a man?

He argues with my mother
over toast and saskatoon berry jam
about things that do not matter

Yet their banter is a comfort
that I have known all my life,
back and forth like woodsmen sawing

They have lost everything
except themselves and a tender love
born from the grace of elders

I listen to him in the evening
and watch my mother
serve up a second piece of pie

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