Taking the Ferry
From Hanlons to Centre I walk.
My parents were married on these islands, in the town
no longer here, having met in the movie house where my mother
sold popcorn; where my father flirted away his solitude.
On the bridge to Algonquin above the lagoon
thinking of butterflies and hyacinths; of lost and won causes.
the Islanders still here, the way into myself
somewhere through a fissure I have yet to find.
Later, on Wards, by the harbour edge of the cottages
skirting the Gap and back, I come upon the “Salvage Prince”
roped to the break wall, its hold full of scrap and collectibles.
The ferry I want is mid-harbour.
Self-exiled to the mainland,
the open spaces close in;
the long-avoided encounter with myself
skirting suicidal as it always does
anything but the maze of debris I made escaping.
Jerry Prager was born in Toronto and now lives with his wife in Kingston. Both were involved with the Elora Poetry Centre from 2014-2020. In the 1990s, David Knight of Childe Thursday Press published The Footling and Other Poems of Arrival; The Well-Versed Heart; and Providence and the Itinerant. As ‘well-versed heart’ implies, love is his primary concern, coming as he does from a broken, working-class family. Prager self-published Selected Works in 2009, and later, three books on Guelph’s mafia, plus a trilogy on the Anti-Slavery/Emancipationist movement in Ontario/Wellington County. Taking the Ferry is from an unpublished autobiography told in poetry with prose bridges connected to his life in theatre, dance, sundry low-paying jobs, heritage stone work, and pandemic musings.