Outside my window,
in the parking lot of the Arabic grocery store,
a hundred seagulls assemble
to avoid the sharpshooting wind off the highway.
The clouds are low down and on the offensive.
Hup two, three, four. Hup two, three, four.
The cockiest male struts
like a colonel among troops
crowded into a pair of yellow-chalked
military zones. He’s talking strategy.
He’s talking peace in the Middle East.
Just as I’m thinking “air strike,”
a rogue flock descends, breaks my concentration
and the colonel’s —
but commotion or no,
still nothing here but the blinking cursor
where a poem should’ve been.
Still nothing but me,
reading metaphors into everything,
time being a luxury I can afford.
Taking it, kneading it, stretching it out.
And why deprive myself?
I like my wily council of birds.
I like that they come to see me now and again.
What else can I do, a writer who writes all day,
my entire studio hemorrhaging light?
The sun beats down
with an exaggerated sense of importance,
— because there aren’t any sweet-eyed kids
scampering sweaty and barefoot
through the kitchen. There are no unmade beds,
no rumpled towels on the bathroom floor.
There’s no husband,
no dog or cat to care for.
No caged, smart-mouthed parrot slung over a lake
of its own droppings.
It glows this way because it can.
Carolyn Marie Souaid is the Montreal-based author of six books of poetry and editor of over a dozen. She has toured her work across Canada, Europe and the United States, and has been shortlisted for a number of literary awards including the A.M. Klein Poetry Prize and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. In 2012, her videopoem, Blood Is Blood, won a prize at the ZEBRA Poetry Film Festival in Berlin. In 2013, she was awarded a seven-week writer’s residency at The Banff Centre to work on a novel. Her newest poetry book, This World We Invented, will appear from Brick Books in 2015.