The language is still English; that much
is familiar. Shifted in a moment from moss-bearded firs
to birch and red pine, to sky threatened with thunder,
I return like a lone horse to a fence I cannot cross.
I walked the cracked pavements of this place,
turned soil, planted, grew like aspen,
quick, short-lived. Now
only conscious—not being—here.
Like through a window, aloof,
this “here” not then,
this “now” not there.
Decay’s handprint is on the houses;
the edges of town slip into weedy fields.
Only the rails passing through seem solid.
The rest wavers, like heat,
like aspen leaves.
Hugh Anderson has roots in Ontario, Alberta, and BC, but has spent long enough in other provinces to see in them images of home. Recent publications include Grain, Vallum, Right Hand Pointing, The Willawaw Journal, and Praxis Magazine Online with work forthcoming in Panoplyzine. He has one Pushcart Prize nomination.