(Poem) 'Victoria, British Columbia, Summer Solstice 1993' by Harriet Ann Ellenberger

Victoria, British Columbia, Summer Solstice 1993

At a loss for everything

but words,

I’m writing in the sunlight

of a sidewalk cafe

when someone falls

over an empty chair and

lands on the table

in front of me.

 

I’m as drunk on language

as he is on booze.

 

A foxtail hangs from a leather cord

at his throat, like a necktie

over his t-shirt,

and when I ask him about it,

he tells me his story.

 

He killed the fox,

and then his mother said to him,

You took the life

of a free and beautiful animal

so you could feel like a bigger man.

Now the spirit of the fox

will make you pay.

 

He believed his mother.

 

I believe her too.

And beneath her words,

I hear the soft, alluring

voice of earth:

 

I dreamt each one of you,

you are just as I wish —

Go now,

walk your path,

breathe

and live.

– Harriet Ann Ellenberger