publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem

© 2010 lisa shatzky

Lisa Shatzky's poetry has been accepted for publication in The Sun (U.S.) and in Canadian Literature, and has been published in The New Quarterly, Canadian Woman Studies, The Nashwaak Review, The Prairie Journal, Jones Ave., Monday's Poem (Leaf Press), The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, Cahoots, Insights, Sandstar's Poetry for Peace (U.S.), The McGill Daily, and in anthologies across Canada. She works as a therapist on Bowen Island, B.C. when not writing.



The Man Waving at the Intersection
    for Gerry Dzikowicz, "King of Cassiar", Vancouver

Strolling along the median just off the bridge
across the blue blur of freeway and fast
food drive-thrus, in his yellow vest,
one hand on a broom
and the other hand in a peace sign,
he waved to us in the traffic.
And gave voice to the tongueless streets.
Is it you who brought the sun?
he asked me one day as I waited
for the light to turn.
From that moment on we talked through
all the red lights and traffic jams
and over years of spontaneous coffees
at some local dive.
What I knew of him:
His soft non-cynical eyes.
A delight in making others smile.
It's what keeps us alive, he once whispered.
He loved horses. Music. Words.
Lost his way with his grown children.
But still dreamed of them.
A steel plate holding his head together.
Sudden and severe seizures.
Waiting for disability benefits.
Swept the street as a volunteer.
The police tried to shut him down.
More than once. His face was shoved
into the sidewalk. He persevered
and continued sweeping.

Are the lights still on where you live?
he asked me after a violent
wind storm. Yes, I answered.
He grinned, that's because
I'm keeping them on for you.

A gentle beacon in the slow-awakening
astonishment of the morning.
He waved to us.
And we waved back.