Sara Cassidy's poems
and fiction have appeared in Geist,
The Malahat Review, Grain, Prairie Fire and in the chapbook
Sardines (Greenboathouse Press).
She grows parsley in Victoria.
The world's edges curl in. When I'm drinking
the furnace breathes, mutters kindly. I've severed
the hubbards squash, heaved them to the gravel.
Otherwise, they'd rot, kissing the dirt. Next time,
I'll play my cards closer to my chest, that coop
from which my heart flies, flaps, even at this age.
A year ago, a lover arrived. Balding! Hip problems!
All the better we beheld each other, lay naked
in squares of sunlight, as cats do. Cats leave, too.
Over a fence, after a bird, as if a bird was everything.
This evening, my neighbour's daughter knocked
at the door, tearful, clutching pages erased raw.
Math problems: I led her down their tidy halls,
into their empty corners. Made believe
there are places bare of love, such a thing as proof.
When she left, I called her back. Filled a paper bag
with parsley, the final tomatoes. There is always
gardening. Which at this time of year is a matter
of emptying the beds. And finding, between leaves
once large as the hands of a drunk, the china bird
I place each spring to sing there. Leave it on its side.
Let it have its season in the frost.