By Marian Glaser © 1995
*Published in CONTEMPORARY VERSE II , 1995*
We walked and walked, moving with crowds,
units in a flow from platform to metro, corner to corner,
diverging into shops, emerging to tacit linkage.
Street musicians caused eddies, audience changing with notes.
We walked up the mountain, past gardens, private and botanical,
looking at petunias and exotica in neatly ranged beds. Greenhouses
offered plants out of season, climate, place; dates and bonsai in mid-Montreal.
We walked to restaurants, savouring absurdities between bites,
overhearing boasts about difficult deliveries, moans about
evil children spawning angels, sighs from silently disapproving parents,
arguments thinly disguised as concern over food choices.
We felt immune, free to sample life, enjoy, laugh, love.
Years came with strange portents. I sat on bookstore floors
too exhausted to stretch and bend, peering at titles.
My hip gave out, refusing for a moment to support me, leaving
me balanced, crane fashion, on one leg, my pace slowed.
Others swerved, casting curious glances at the animated obstacle.
An orange dressing gown faded to grey and took a month to brighten.
Heat dizzied me. Pretending all was normal refused to work.
A positive Babinsky showed damage somewhere, signals not traveling,
a stoppage. Perhaps a tumour pressing on nerves, letting stray messages
seep through, carrying incomplete information.
September eighty-four shone with sunlight.
The mountain maples blazed with colour.
I fell softly on our fallen leaves, raking,
while waiting for the call to summon me