publishing poetry only

Monday's Poem


Lisa Young’s poetry collection, When the Earth, was published by Quattro Books (2011). Her work has appeared in Jones Av., Quills Canadian Poetry, dead g(end)er, and Rampike Magazine, among others. She is the former senior editor for Existere. Currently she is part of the WordStage Reading Series team in Toronto.

"Everything Counts" is from the poetry collection, When the Earth (Quattro Books, 2011).

© 2012 Lisa Young


Everything Counts

Everything counts.
This red streetcar moving me forward.
This movement of swaying.

The driver I can’t see and the early day
I can’t quite grasp as we all ride together
to our destinations.

Out of the stupor, the grand grey buildings
mar the horizon.
Under everything, everything counts.

Under everything that tenses,
spoils, tricks, loses, angers
is something else –
hibernating beneath the melting snow,
in the dense layers of doom.

Underneath, in the spine, is the wish
to embrace this existence – whatever
it might be – the blue ink, the letters,
the words, the stories forming.


In the breath is the wish.
In the chest is the wish.
In the bones of the feet.

In the black forest.
In the sea, near the shore.
In the recline of a lawn chair, face to the sun.

In the paper shuffle is the wish.
In the stillness of pondering.
In the bird’s echo.

In the imprint left by house guests
who all leave at once.
In the tulips that bloom on your kitchen table.

In the red exit sign is the wish.
In the German Shepherd’s eager paws.
In the moan of the snow plough.
In the coffin lowering into the grave
is the wish.


Everything counts.

Just to remember is enough.
Just to be here is enough.
To have this morning enough.
This glass of water enough.
This deep breath
is enough.