publishing poetry chapbooks

Monday's Poem

© Karen Enns

Early Morning

And Mahler is weeping all over the dash.
I am lost to the world. For so long it has heard nothing from me.
Sound of oboe, horn, the sky a rack of blue and early morning traffic
       starting up.
And then that turn of phrase to gather the lovely pulse in its palm
and tighten: I live alone.
The sky opens to whiteness.

A painter at the crossing for the bus, slumped forward,
stained from his cap to his steel-toed boots, all
the weight of his long muscled days held bare
in the circles under his eyes.
To put a hand to his jaw, just now, to turn his face with only fingertips
and say be grateful here.
Be grateful it's the being lost that counts. Yes.
Look for the empty room, the square of light on the bare wood floor,
echoes from the walls. Look for the chair by the window,
the one cup, the coat.
And then be grateful there is height, that momentary lifting into air,
the view, the weightlessness of arms conducting sound in gestures
larger than shadow or light;
when the turn of phrase is everything,
that slow spinning,
pulse to face to sky
and back again.

I was raised in a Russian Mennonite farming community in southern Ontario, with an abundance of singing, stories and relatives. My studies in music at the Universities of Western Ontario and Iowa led me to a career as a concert pianist, from which I've recently taken time to study and write. I have poetry forthcoming in The Fiddlehead. For the past thirteen years, I've lived with my family in Victoria, B.C.