adrift on a line revering machine precision bearing our lives slowly
through interchanges around blind corners
causeways across muskeg mile markers
where mottled bits of dross float
. plastic bags in dead trees the only sign of civilization
. unseen lulled on by the rhythm of this stillness
open-air metal coffins the porches of grain cars
grime and soot the smell of grease following us through city
. upon city, railyards
hushed by the bull’s flashlight
the yard workers’ high beams
in the name of this world’s sovereign (Capital)
a night of wilderness remains
blank to us above the plains oh lord
at rest at a siding lightning (purple and gold) on all horizons
to emerge hundreds of miles later the magic trick pulled off unscathed
and praying to remain grounded
Copyright © Joel Robert Ferguson. Originally published in Prairie Fire (39.2, Summer 2018).
Joel Robert Ferguson’s poetry has appeared in various publications, including CV2, Lemon Hound, The Columbia Review, Prairie Fire, filling Station, and The Capilano Review. Originally from the Nova Scotian village of Bible Hill, he divides his time between Winnipeg and Montreal, where he is pursuing a Masters in English Literature at Concordia.
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