A poem written on a train travelling from Halifax
to Montreal in nineteen hundred and fifty-two,
as winter leans an elbow
on the tabletop of Canada – that poem
will have soot in its veins and coal for skin.
That poem will sing with the rhythm of small towns
spying from birch forests, crows idle
in steel air and rivers bowed
across the harsh violin of the Canadian shield.
That poem will reach Winnipeg within a week.
By the laptop, there is a mouse, card reader and spindle
of fifty DVD’s. I am transfixed
by the new white paper, six hot pixels,
an error message; I fight the compulsion
to play solitaire, isolated
in this cubicle of space, eavesdropping
on the web’s white noise. I cannot envision
a poem journeying as far as
the screen’s dead snow.