Photograph by Ken Lertzman

Sue Wheeler has published two books of poetry, Solstice on the Anacortes Ferry (Kalamalka, 1995) and Slow-Moving Target (Brick, 2000). Her third collection, Habitat, will be out in Spring 2005 from Brick Books. Her poems and books have won or been shortlisted for numerous awards. She lives and works on a farm on Lasqueti Island, BC.

Monday's Poem

© Sue Wheeler


The sewing machine hums
its little start-up hum, stitching
up the britches you've had so long
they're old enough to drink and vote.
Those camel-coloured cords
have a rip, a tear, and you've got a tear
shed for the passing of all things.
The tear shed is where you stack
your sorrows, cordwood
for another winter's downside.

If life is a fabric store, you
are up against the wall of notions
wondering Should I trust the bias
binding? You'll never get out
alive. Each four-eyed button's
in a staring contest with two
thousand overhead watts.
The needles whisper uh-oh
as a herd of camels noses in,
cocky as a passel of rich men.

One hump or two?
The notions you come up with
will be your come-down.
In other words your comeuppance.
To check your I.D.
you stand before a mirror.
After you says the mirror
and shows you the door.

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