Vincent Pagé

Landscape

The farm girl's ripped her dress off again.

It soaks up puddle silt where she's playing.

Yellow boots ring loose 'round her shins,

specks of mud spatter

her blonde, her bare body.

 

Cattle low through a summer's thunder

         and Mom's out to chase her.

 

Mice eat crumbs she leaves trailing.

She lops dead ones through the fence.

Dogs check for cougars on fiddleheads,

minnows like shadow in the face of her reflection.

Gravel calluses her heels, so she piles rocks.

 

         From the big window a field shifts in the wind

               green to green to light

like the pictures she's seen of the ocean.

 

A calf's birth, berry buckets, the grasses razed.

 

A raven lays eggs

in a nest of lost ribbons.

 

 October 

The snow-bee's arrested death-whirr:

one fettered wing fixed in a web

while it reels toward life

in the shed house.

 

The old spider held to its smoke,

straw-light and brittle anyway—

stunting flight needlessly

as the air will too soon.

 

 

Sleeping on the Verge of a River

Vincent Pagé

 

                            for Al Purdy

 

A sound ran down the roof

last night—

 

maybe a pinecone

from a windless tree

or a lost cat,

a summertime kid throwing a ball

up and out of sight, surprised each time

by the arm of its return.

 

Outside in her white slip, flashlight,

me in underwear with a knife in my hand.

She went out first, so what does that say?

 

We saw nothing,

 

and in sleep I dreamt

I let you end your life on a riverbank

because you swam us to the point.

You smiled

and followed your suicide to the seaside.

 

When I woke I knew

it had been the poem of your sick mother

rolling down my roof in the dark.

 

Vincent Pagé’s work has appeared in Flash, The Smokelong Quarterly, EVENT, and FREEFALL. He lives and writes in Canada.

Posted on July 7, 2014 .