publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem

Jadon Rempel has lived in all three Prairie Provinces yet has no outdoor winter hobbies. His writing has recently appeared or is forthcoming in Notebook Magazine,, Dance2Death, Existere, and 42opus. His work has been featured on CBC Radio One and is featured on the Edmonton Poetry Festival website. Jadon is an avid spoken word performer with an unhealthy addiction to online poetry journals. He lives in Edmonton with his wife, dog and 11-month-old daughter, Aria.

© 2008 Jadon Rempel

A Number Between One and Thirty

Three PM mail slot, a pink envelope slides
and dies, a snake at the end of its hiss.
I am too busy to answer, separating skies from
a winter house and static socks from wool
sweaters, remembering the day we walked frozen
stone footed, dumped a red velvet sack off the High
Level Bridge, running tightrope across the river.
Safe was a half moon mouse hole in the crux of a
dozen numbers, your body was a flat rectangle refusing to
fold, I lent you my knees and walked like
a penguin for more years than corners more
steps than footprints. A dirty page

is crumpled, tossed into the fire, what
was written clings like communicable diseases
upon the door handle still shiny with handshakes and
cold to the touch, I haven't bothered to check the
lock or discern the rest of the keys, I think it's the
jingle I hang on to the most, the click of knowing
who enters a room, drunk and horny, clothed only in
cigarette smoke and show-tunes, the world saw just

the security bars, shadows over the important parts.
The spirits let themselves in, arriving as wind
stirring papers from abandoned stacks, throwing guitars
out of tune, binding themselves like parasites to memories,
clinging for dear life to the plaster cracks of a room
slowly tearing itself in two. Sometimes they show up

in the washing, hollow white sheets, eyes cut out
off center and begging for something to eat, only
lately it's been the same old laundry, winter
clothes smelling of the box they came from, musty
like an animal's cage, stripped of anything beyond a
jumble of Christmas mornings and me,

messy haired and tired, holding itchy wool against my
chest and smiling for the camera. It's the impossibility
that sleeps like a pile of sand on the welcome mat, sweeps
snow from the porch stairs, the walkway, starts the car in the
morning and pays the paperboy on time. Calls mom and
gives her the news every year, that Christmas comes too
soon and the flights are too expensive, that the city is a
happy place with many lights and the type of crime

you only read about. It is a polite solitude, never
waiting for a drop in visit from love or death, the
odd faceless champion inquiring a cup of charity, the
mail lady is the sneakiest of them all, only ever giving,
aware of all the redundancies, same bills every month,
zip lock curtains and a dog that no longer barks at
phantom sounds, but waits for the handle turn upon
a door that's learned to keep the winds at bay, the world
within its cage, and since the walls broke down and
repaired themselves, the ghosts are content to knock.