Sometimes Becky Needs a Birch Canoe
I woke today, recalling a poem about Becky–
she maintained endless faith by taking long walks
to remind herself how winter circles
with killing frost, with quiet drifting snow;
that brown bears curl first, then settle
while crows caw over wheat field stubble.
just as brown bears rise, just as robins nest
She’d break trail through last night’s crust,
slip through barbed wire fenced against the frozen
marsh. Along the bank of Driver’s Creek
she’d search for yet another note from him–
twined and twigged, a knotted braid
of regret and faith, dangling from a blade.
carve me out another chance on the bark of this white birch
I imagined their tree: criss-crossed with pledges
of their love, but sometimes I’d find myself wanting
to step inside that poem–take that blade
from her naïve hand, ax the tree, build
a canoe and float her down river,
away from him, hoping
she’d come to her senses.
This poem was first published in Prick of the Spindle