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Samantha’s Daily Poem

August 24, 2011

Unreliable witness

I am an unreliable witness
to my deepest moments
of understanding

they drop like stones

but they leave
like clouds
shaped like a rocking horse
the day
our friends’ baby died

a gift of insight
and then suddenly
just a smear
in the sky

and though we both saw it that time
neither of us felt sure
that we had seen it at all.

I always say I will take notes next time
trap the good idea
but I never do
to look too long
for fear of seeing
how common
it was.

August 23, 2011

His fury is not for us

There is a man who yells
in the alley behind my office
a roar that seethes with rage
it pounds out of him.

He used to show up every few months
swiping at the air
banging the garbage bins
kicking at doors.

I’ve watched
safe from my third-floor window
as pedestrians stare
and cross the street in fear
but his fury is not
for us.

I saw him once
in the centre of this city
where the poor gather
like magnets
he was twitching
like an animal
who knows it is prey
I asked around and learned his story
born to a drunk
a life of so few kindnesses
you wonder if being born
was the least kind
of all.

I haven’t seen him for a long time
the last time
dirty as the alley
a storm of spit
lunging at the sky
I felt my own temper surging
anger at his mother
though somebody must have broken her too
but still
she suffocated all the kind strong men
he might have been
and left a beast behind
for the taste of something
he has never known.

August 22, 2011


smudge of yellow
on lawn
an uncomplicated kind of cute
one of nature’s quick
line drawings
proof that God

Posted In: Nature | Tags: | one comment
August 21, 2011


She taught him the signs
they recommend:

thank you.

But secretly
she found it a rather boring
way to talk
so she taught him
new words like


It was one of his favourite words
but he used it sparingly
reserving it for
their sofa
dish soap
her bright orange scarf.

One day
she stopped to give some change
to a man
who asked for some.

Everything about him
was ragged and hollow
and he smelled like
warm garbage.

Her child stared
like he stared at
and then he made the sign


She couldn’t say for sure
if the man knew what it meant
but he signed it
right back
and the two of them
smiled at first and then shook
with laughter.

August 20, 2011

Hotel room

Hotel room
you receive me
my clunky boxes
and toiletries
in disarray
a stark contrast to your
scrubbed neutral world
fabrics and floor
that have seen so much
the nakedness
the habits
yet you reveal nothing
in that mute
half-hearted way
of someone who has been used
too much.

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