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From the archives

Pax Atlantica

NATO’s long-lasting relevance

A Larger Role for Unions

Organized labour may be shrinking but the rhetoric is still upbeat

This United League

Will not die, will not perish


I don’t need you to tell me why I’m here

or solve the mystery of how I slipped so far

and came to, lost in a snickering wood,

your trill my sole directive.


No bewigged guardian of the law

will ever compliment my patience, or sense

of beauty, or your eloquence.

Like you I’m playing with a kingless deck,

bound to songs that others made,

and with my life I sing out the pale result,

my reputation like the heavy coat

of a Victorian postman.

Kindness makes me angry. It’s rough justice.


Now we’ve reached the final, spoofing call

when you parrot the morning bell —

melody dug in, song-fuse set,

then that spine-deep tingle

that bursts in your abrupt last line,

enlightening darkness, slowing time.

Derek Webster is the founding editor of Maisonneuve magazine. His first book of poems will be published by Véhicule Press in spring 2015. He lives in Montreal.