2013 Linda Crosfield
Crosfield's poems have been published in several journals and
anthologies and in four chapbooks of her own: Ways to Get to
Here; Tea in a China Cup; Generation Dance; and Etiquette,
all published by her imprint, Nose-in-Book Publishing. She blogs
sporadically at http://purplemountainpoems.blogspot.com. She lives,
writes, and makes books in Ootischenia (which means "valley
of consolation" in Russian), at the confluence of the Columbia
and Kootenay Rivers in southeastern BC, on land that was once
home to a Doukhobor village. Winter solstice night in 2003 saw
the last remaining buildings, including the formerly brick-clad
dom, razed because they were becoming a hazard to wandering animals
and curious children. They are still missed.
"Good Neighbours" was first published in Rogue Stimulus: The Stephen Harper Anthology for a Prorogued Parliament (Mansfield Press, 2010).
It was a small thing,
forgetting to check the venting index
before lighting the holiday fire.
Who knew the sweet blue sky
was nothing but a large foot pushing down the smoke
laden with spring-cleaning remains
—her thrice-rejected manuscript,
the packaging that once encased a meat thermometer,
a copy of Stephen Harper’s biography, mint condition,
someone gave her last year—
back to the earth from which it rose,
spreading across the subdivision like syrup on a plate
while a phalanx of neighbours from an archipelago of houses
arrived to complain of wheezing elders, burning eyes,
Happy Canada Day dying on her lips
replaced by stammered apologies
and promises never to re-offend.
After they’d gone, though, she cracked a Corona
and imagined she could fly above the clouds,
get the air moving, soar.