A new poem by Donald McGrath


Like tourists who chose the wrong time to go
and got caught in the middle of a coup
more deadly than a coup de soleil,
it is stranded now, confined to islands
where the noise of human commerce fades away
and leaves it at the mercy of the weather.
Yet it still conspires to touch us,
bleeding mawkishly from vacant lots,
rejuvenating cracked leather shoes,
peering weakly over plywood walls
where riotous colours and the snowy striations
of torn posters drown out its pallid plea.
Heads raised in praise
of the sun’s bold new pulse,
are happy, happily vacant.
Our memory of snow
dissolves in watery squiggles
on our new pleasure domes, the eyes,
as we proceed drunkenly
down the squinting vistas.