publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem


Lisa Shatzky's poetry has been published in The Vancouver Review, Room Magazine, Quills Canadian Poetry Magazine, The Nashwaak Review, The Antigonish Review, The Dalhousie Review, Canadian Literature, Canadian Woman's Studies, The Prairie Journal, Jones Ave., The New Quarterly, Monday's Poem, and six chapbooks by Leaf Press (edited by Patrick Lane) along with anthologies across Canada. Her poetry book Do Not Call Me By My Name (Black Moss Press, 2011), was shortlisted for the Gerald Lampert Poetry Award. Lisa has also had prose published in a new book called Living Artfully: Reflections from the Far West Coast (The Key Publishing Group, 2012). When not writing she works as a psychotherapist on Bowen Island. B.C. where she lives.

"Suppose" was previously published in The Vancouver Review (January 2011) as "Just Another Day on West Broadway."

© 2012 Lisa Shatzsky



Suppose on a Monday afternoon
brewing traffic and deadlines, the elevator

gets stuck between the fourth and fifth floors
and you stand with strangers in a space

smaller than any room in your house.
The man in front of you shifts back

and forth looking at his watch and the boy
beside you wears only purple and a mohawk haircut

with a guitar on his back. Next to him a woman
stands on duty in a stiff blue dress buttoned high

carrying a bag of oranges imported from Spain.
Suppose this was all there was for the next two hours.

Suppose the shifting man now faces you, his eyes
far away oceans you might have seen somewhere.

Suppose the mohawk boy spits on the ground
and can't stop saying fuck. Suppose the woman on duty

unbuttons her collar and few oranges spill out
gushing the room bright and bold.

Suppose you find an unfinished poem
in your backpack, the one you would never share

except for now, a poem about someone you thought
you loved and never told and now it's too late.

And the man with the ocean eyes says it makes him
sad and pulls out a harmonica to offer his heart

and the boy stops saying fuck and tunes the guitar
and everyone watches his fingers coaxing the strings

their glory, a glory so tender the woman takes off
her jacket and says it's hot in here and you stumble

through the unfinished poem telling them
everything you meant to tell someone else

and the harmonica undresses the words
and the boy melts the guitar and the woman

hums and murmurs something about yes, yes,
I know that song and the elevator reveals

itself for what it really is: an abandoned hermitage
found again or a snatched up moment in paradise

or the one small thing we felt
brave enough to do that day

and no one wants to be rescued,
not yet, not yet...