Sunday, January 4, 2009

a poem for our city


this winter there’s been snow 
Christmas was white all across Canada 
the first time, my father tells me, in 35 years   

this rain-soaked city wasn’t ready to turn white 
its inhabitants wear gum boots and carry umbrellas 
shake off the accumulation of snow every so often 
abandon our cars to the sides of roads   

I’ve been waiting for rain for weeks 
ready to watch this strange landscape melt 
return to what is green and familiar 
to a surface on which I can find my footing   

but the snow keeps coming 
covering up the slush turned to ice and 
the six inch tire grooves frozen now into permanence 
on every side street across Vancouver   

making my world ever more unfamiliar and strange 
I feel lost in this great whiteness of mine

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