This City at the Crossroads
Knowing that you are measured
by all those thing that you aren’t.
Neither butcher of the world nor
atavistic river port at the coal country
tip, instead you are known
for the quieter moments between,
hunting pigeons on war memorials,
major minor league baseball
and confetti in quiet before
and after star spangled parades.
For that, the question is about
simple notions of being, the bits
comprised of persistent anticipation,
the crushing whine of Indy cars
passing and then returning,
the inevitability of each return
amounting to the pleasure
taken from watching traffic
at high speed unable to escape
its mundane surroundings.
Maybe you are the leftovers
of those that couldn’t be bothered
to finishing moving north
from the Commonwealth
to that metropolis on the lake.
All of it parts and pieces of one
sputtering chunk of an engine
with the clear belief that God
placed you on this prairie
where the glaciers rested
before retreating north. He
placed here to complete each lap
in good time and dream
of the sweet coolness of milk
drank through work parched lips,
over a sun-cooked speedway
at the crossroads of a continent.
D.A. LOCKHART was born in Chatham and raised in Windsor, Ontario. He holds degrees from Trent University, Montana State University, and Indiana University. He is a graduate of the Indiana University - Bloomington MFA in Creative Writing program where he held a Neal-Marshall Graduate Fellowship in Creative Writing. His work is forthcoming in Contemporary Verse 2 and has appeared in the Windsor Review, Sugar House Review, Hawk and Whipporwill, and others. He is a recipient of Canada Council for the Arts grant for Aboriginal People and Ontario Arts Council grants for his poetry. He is a research consultant and is editor-in-chief for Urban Farmhouse Press based out of Windsor, Ontario, Canada. He is a member of the Moravian of the Thames First Nation.
READ AND LISTEN
Issue 8 Playlist