POETRY: BREN SIMMERS
IF SATURDAY, AN EMPTY PARKING LOT
If the horse fence was split-rail
and I had an apple in my hand.
If mom and pop grocery stores still had
their ‘and.’ If I could lift out of biography
into sand and compost, hand-mixed
and laid in low spots in the yard.
If the knock at the door was a parcel
instead of a politician, if we built each day
the way a spider shuttles a web,
warp of anchor threads,
weft of hours to hammock in.
If woodstoves, whiskey, and new friends.
If barefooted, weeding garden beds.
If cold frames greened fall plates.
If boards that shudder in gale winds
held another eighty years, if Canada
warms at twice the rate of other countries.
If we stopped taking airplanes
we’d never see our families again.
If we could ride air currents with crows
fingers feathered, if the small stones
of deer tracks foretold the future.
If we weren’t afraid.
If babies were born healthy.
If this body was a bubble wand
held open to wind.
Bren Simmers’ first book of non-fiction, Pivot Point (Gaspereau Press, 2019), is a lyrical account of a nine-day wilderness canoe journey. She is also the author of three books of poetry: If, When (Gaspereau Press, 2021), Hastings-Sunrise (Nightwood Editions, 2015), which was a finalist for the City of Vancouver Book Award, and Night Gears (Wolsak & Wynn, 2010). A lifelong west coaster, she now lives on PEI.
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