publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem

© 2012 David Fraser

David Fraser lives in Nanoose Bay. His poetry has appeared in many publications, including Rocksalt: An Anthology of Contemporary BC Poetry (Mother Tongue Publishing, 2008). He has published four collections of poetry, most recently Caught in My Throat, and a book of poetry and poetics titled On Poetry, with Naomi Beth Wakan.

He Never Stops to Notice
While on the Way to the Sally Ann

How can he navigate,
make leaps across a landscape
so bruised and maimed.
Perhaps he has forgotten
how his grandma simmered soup,
heated stones to keep the bed clothes warm,
cut apples into stars and served him tea.
He is driving. Driving.
Filling station to filling station
until it all breaks down, and
he is forced to walk, gravel grit
on the shoulder, world a rush of wind,
an insult, a profanity,
a kicked-up detritus of faded wrappers,
crushed cups, a baby’s soother,
a broken tooth, a lipstick tube,
a condom that gives his eye a jerk.

It’s then he remembers that
somehow, he never stops to notice,
four wheels, a sizzle on the tarmac,
coast road, winding curves, or
the fast lane straight down the valley,
creosote, prickly pear, saguaro, mesquite,
billboards, the good life and the gambling,
quick stops at Bubba’s Place,
Psycho Sam’s Motor Lounge, The Oinkster,

a plate of food to feed a family and
he sees them, leaving, toting doggy bags or
waddling empty-handed, super-sized
trailing a chubby-cheeked tribe, their feet
splayed on the sides of their shoes.
Rosie’s, El Café Loco, The Squeeze Inn
folks caught up with the food channel
and the cupcake wars.

Back on the road he drags
his butt into the closest town,
hears a bell, sees the bubble stuffed
with dollar bills outside the grocery store,
and he knows he’ll put the last of his spare change
into the Sally Ann — no support for six figure
charity CEO salaries for him — just folks
who walk the shoulder of the road,
pick through the clothing of the dead,
recycle all the Posturepedic beds
of grandmothers who have gone,
fire up a simple kitchen with some soup,
lay out a quiet night
beneath a clean sheet,
a real pillow
not a crumbled jacket
beneath his neck.