Michelle Barker lives and writes in Penticton, B.C. with her husband,
four children and two dogs. Her poetry has been published in various
literary reviews around the world and appears in the 2011 Best
Canadian Poetry anthology. She has published short fiction,
as well as creative non-fiction, and her work won a gold National
Magazine Award in personal journalism in 2002. Presently she is
studying for her Master's degree in creative writing at UBC's
optional-residency program. "Decadence of an Old Growth Forest"
is from her chapbook, "Old Growth, Clear Cut," to be
published shortly by Leaf Press.
4. Decadence of an Old Growth Forest
A cathedral, too, is decadent
just look at the wasted
the stone they might have used
for shopping malls
and here, this stained glass,
what is the purpose
of a window
you can't see through?
candles left burning at all hours
even when no one is there
and don't get me started
on the vertical loss of space
five floors of apartments at least
artwork on the ceiling
as if anyone looks up
prayer is decadent
so, too, peace.