THE TENT: My New Year Poem
I waited for the next year
to be invented. I took a number.
I passed the time creating
brief theatrical productions
in my head. My head hurt.
I dreamed I was a popular blue
soft drink, a gangly dog cartoon,
a sneaky “u” in American labour.
I dreamed I lived in a big city.
You wake up and you are
in a small town. A building
rings bells, and the lake
is just three minutes away;
the bits touching shore
are covered in ice. Are those ducks
frozen in the lake? No,
they are rocks that look like ducks.
Phew. The relieved townspeople
cluster by Town Hall, squeeze hard,
and the “s” pops out. They are
townpeople now. It is only
one town. It is in Canada.
Twenty Eleven kicks the “s”
down the street, whistling a song
my father liked.
My father never met Twenty Eleven.
My father liked Nelson Eddy, who he also
never met. The song was “Dardanella.”
My father and I build a tent
by the water. The water is solid.
We wait. The year is invented.
He teaches me what it can do.
1 January 2011