Curated by Judy Gaudet
Impromptu for the New Year
Morning sunlight falls on the eventual snow,
and the dog stirs, black upon white, in the maze
of thin spruce, the path tracked and retracked by the night’s
dance of hares, and my old legs climb over a fallen trunk.
How many generations long is a long life?
Do we count by decades or some definition
of attitude? Has love a new way of being?
You are, she said, better at questions than answers.
Blown snow and bright ice, the young trees bend low
under the weight of it. A fox has left fresh tracks.
To be wild is to be hungry, short-lived, cold, wet,
breeding desperately to salvage the species.
Ask the young to explain. The lively black puppy
leads me through the new snow of her world, obeys
though she can outrun me on any footing.
The cold wind sings out in the air all around us.
—David Helwig, from Keeping Late Hours, Oberon, 2015. Other recent books include Seawrack, and The Sway of Otherwise.
Island poet and avid poetry reader Judy Gaudet selects a poem by a PEI poet each month.
Judy's latest book is Conversation with Crows (Oberon,2014)