Sky Train (2004)

 

Dad, I fear that where you’re going there'll be no Sky Train and no Saturday afternoon to show you around New Westminster, from the cafeteria to my little office at Douglas College

and there will be no Charon and no quay

like the one we stopped at for dinner and drinks

before getting back on the Skytrain

before 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 slopes 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?

 

——

Next: Dying by the Law

Back to top

Poems Contents