like the child sifting the sands
beneath the monkey bars for change
I remember someone
I would not recognize in passing
there would be the photo propped on a mantle
of a home I never had time to live in,
the announcement of the birth of a son
tucked in the pocket of my dusty uniform
like a badge of honor
from some misbegotten campaign of love.
time pretends forgetfulness and carries with it
the feeling of being loved
without ever having done my time.
to bring to an end
the well of it
something in the male of this
the new start,
the beginning of the end.
in all the unfilled spaces of a lifetime
as one of the scavenger gulls
circling the rough edges of Toronto
beyond Nathan Phillips Square,
I closed in on my prey
I could hear my self, gull scream
in a voice the sound of waves retreating into sea
I ran my hand over the smooth skin
of Henry Moores’ Archer and felt
the delicate blows of the hammer
a bag lady sat on a cold concrete bench
cursing boys, empty old weathered sailors
with leathered eyes, wearing their losses on their hearts
like medals from their forgotten wars
shuttled around her.