– Poetry by Mark Gordon –
When I see hundreds of geese swarm a field
I swear I am a country boy, destined
to ride a tractor, watching springtime seagulls
take off, one after another, a white blur
that I’d never see in the glass metropolis.
When I dawdle in the downtown annex
I swear I am urban wise, ducking in and out
of bars and sushi places, with names
like Blur on Bloor and the Teetering Planet.
Who can deny this buzz of eyes that pass me?
So this is me, one half made of steel struts,
the other of magnolia petals. At night
they pull me into reveries of plucking plums
from swollen trees, then into visions
of a scaffold lowering me, a squeegee
in my hand. My reflection startles me. And I
ask—am I that swan on a pond or that city
pigeon high above the millennial tramcars?
I know the answer will never neatly fold
like a handkerchief, whether polka-dot
red or the finest silk. The question bulges,
never lies flat. It sends me on holidays
to sniff the fresh manure or climb a tower
for charity. It whirs in my head, this hornet,
swings me home on a jazz note I can’t forget.
Mark Gordon is a novelist and poet who grew up in Halifax, Nova Scotia. His poetry has appeared in numerous literary journals in Canada and the United States, including Poet Lore, Quiddity International, and Roanoke Review. His three published novels are The Kanner Aliyah, Head of the Harbour, and The Snail’s Castle. He is presently living in Toronto, Canada. He maintains the website markgordonauthor.com, which he cordially invites you to visit.