53° 59’ 39” N 97 ° 49’ 01” W by David Yerex Williamson

Our airport is small, smells 
slightly of burnt fabric insulation. 
Sometimes the planes don’t land.
Doctors stay another night
far from Thai restaurants, their children, jazz.
Here, it snows in April
and May. Sometimes June. Usually September.  

We don’t have an insurance agent.
Truck registration renewals are sent out by plane
sometimes, returned in a box to be retrieved
or left. Dozens of envelopes waiting over nights.
I note the names of people 
with whom to avoid collisions.  

A national historic site,
we have to send our future out to be born,
our elderly to die. In-between
sometimes we garden, dust off the tools
retrieve from the soil, snare or angle our meat
when the river strands us as well.
We hope for specific seasons,
change clinging to a coming today.  

Once the ferry re-opens, we have the usual dreams:
well attended funerals, a new rumour
maybe a Thai place dimly lit
a beautiful waiter who doesn’t yet know your name.
I could mail myself Air
but here, if the ferry runs, 
I would leave by truck
spend the day grounded, Tom T. Hall on the radio,
arrive dusty, late, out of sorts
much like I departed.  

Sometimes our planes don’t land.
Most days we have running water.
We have no train station. We need no theatre. 
Above us, ravens pause in flight
shadows on the snow. 

Copyright © David Yerex Williamson. Originally published in Prairie Fire (40.2).

David Yerex Williamson is a poet and college instructor living in northern Manitoba. He is an associate member of the League of Canadian Poets, the Manitoba Writers Guild and The Boreal Writers Group. When not teaching, drawing or reading rejection emails, David shovels snow, cuts wood and chases his dogs along the Nelson River. He is currently editing his second chapbook.


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