Taking the express bus from Battle River to
Swastika, the reversed magnetic rail from Paris to
Luxembourg, same windy wind of shielding
tundra held out cutting wire, stake pins
put through the permafrost in four foot's depth,
I watched ice fractles form mathematic on windowpane,
haunting plains from here to Rosetown.
The last of the city lights fading in 2-for-1 vodka
bottles, in tin-crinkle of cough drop packages,
only long-vanished heavens, bleaching shine of colours
only drawing closer shades of Winter's paradise
only damning in faint feeling one-time echo of
voice in the rumble of car on concrete, crossing the 417.
Your presence consumes this place as four strong
winds, forever bonded to the lonesome glint of
overpass lines, ghostly pastures spread about
in the dancing of fireflies on Northlander conductor
wheels; your breath in the exhaust of stream trailing
through yonder nighttime's soul-dark, clouding
above Thunder Bay in its diamond-rough keeping.
I wanted to take a train car all out to Bonavista,
the taste of salt and cod fishery encircling me,
body swamped in Atlantic's dead-end depth.
I'd still know tones heavy in the way you spoke
about chopping of evergreen trunks; I'd hear it,
even in the cedars of Lebanon.