Sky Train (2004)


Dad, I fear that where you’re going there'll be no Sky Train

No Saturday afternoon to spend

showing you around New Westminster

from the cafeteria to my little office at Douglas College

to the quay where we stopped for dinner and drinks

before getting back on the Skytrain

rolling over the switches

toward the purple dusk and hockey game

My fear is that where you’re going there'll be no hockey game

no baseball diamond in the sky

and I'll no longer be waiting at second base

for that unpredictable grounder


I write this in fear

not just for you

but for me too

and for all of us


For if there's no Skytrain and no hockey game

no ice and no diamond

neither will there be a café

on the corner of Broadway and Granville

no houses climbing the slope

to the peak of Grouse Mountain


There'll be no play

and no sky

once the revels are all ended


Is this what makes philosophy of so long life?

Is this the dearth of worlds only dreamed of

yet not to come

that lies at the heart of Hamlet’s unease?


Is this the fear that makes us yearn to see the spectre

of our father on the palace walks?

Or is it some deeper hunch

about an invisible dimension

like ultraviolet waves to the human eye

invisible to see

here in the tunnel

where our receptors are too weak

to pick up the signal?


But what does it matter anyway

if there is or isn’t a Heaven

if, to the end of our days, we ride the iron rails

that run parallel

like iron in our blood

pulsing from station to station

through the networks of our common DNA

into the chambers of our heart

and the corridors of our brain?



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