Autumn Takes Its Rifle for a Walk
The coliseum, agape—miles of silent,
stoic rock, a half-frozen bog.
The dead end trails swindle their followers
of their leaves—a gravel circus.
Grey stripes, and brown. Air and dirt—
an ancient, ugly rivalry.
A prop plane bobs along the remains
of last night, and still can’t find its way back.
The wind rasps a cheer, waves
a union flag, is quickly shushed.
Mobs of moose march in threes along the road,
draped in shawls woven from dead leaves.
The first and last carry an orange hat,
sodden and dripping, between their heavy jaws.
Unanimous, they veer right,
vanish into the hydro pass.
The season of downsizing, of strategy, of resistance.
Gorged on vitamins, they are organized, then vengeful.
The brittle clouds rattle, the bareheaded
month shivers, and we haven’t yet begun to grieve.
The ground rattles and the moon drops,
shaken, and rests at the edge of my yard.
A little too close, too round
but bright enough, and
there is much to unearth
before the monsoons.
The phone calls made too late,
the hospital rooms left unentered,
the secrets nudged free and sent
rolling down the hill.
The banjo strings I used
to tether them together.
Astride my dull shadow
is a telescope, trained
on the crest of that ridge,
the one best for viewing the sunsets
that cure all forms of blindness.
My shovel jolts against rock,
and I renounce the faith
I have neither found,
nor yet inspired.
The moon heaves itself back up
and the foxes sharpen
their jagged little eyes.
Inside, the stove is out,
the phone won’t stop ringing,
and a man hands me a warrant.
He unsheathes an examining table,
and flaunts its chrome stirrups
like a bounty hunter.
Jennifer LoveGrove is the author of poetry collections The Dagger Between Her Teeth (ECW Press) and I Should Never Have Fired the Sentinel (ECW Press), and has since been completed a novel. Her writing has been published widely, and in 2010 she was shortlisted for the K. M. Hunter Artist Award for Literature. For three years, she produced and hosted the literary radio show “In Other Words” on CKLN 88.1FM. For a decade, she edited and published the literary zine dig. Currently, she divides her time between downtown Toronto and rural Haliburton.