Red-Eye by Sadiqa de Meijer

Poet name: Sadiqa de Meijer Poem Name: Red-Eye Poem: Dear country, did you wait for me? Did you halt yellow trains as they vipered the engineered rural, did you hinder currents, letting duckweed slowly lock the waters—have you been a grand museum of immobile waterfowl and ruminants, flies on their nostrils, millipede life under leaf rot, stock-still—where it rained, did glass drops hover in a splintered universe of damp, dear country, when I dropped the spindle, did you pull the main? Did you arrest the motions of bicyclists, hooligans, vendors, classroom chalk scraping in cursive, past imperfect— was there a static silence on all radios? Here is the private sea scrolling in, typing you an endless letter. The plane makes its fluid, plummeting turn, and my window fills with land. Here is the clay that holds the brittle calcium of them who made me, have they waited— because I waited for you, in my blind and percolating marrow all the years I waited, sleepwalking, speaking a daft language flawlessly. Now the roads are ribbons, and the cars begin to crawl. I would like to rise with you; I’d like to be so awake. I’ve drunk repeated coffees from a small and unbreakable cup that a child might use to serve tea to a wiry monkey and a one-eyed bear. But I have left her in another country, sleeping. And my hands shake. End of Poem. Credits: Copyright © Sadiqa de Meijer Published in The Outer Wards (Vehicule Press, 2020). Sadiqa de Meijer’s most recent books are the poetry collection The Outer Wards (Vehicule Press, 2020) and the language memoir alfabet / alphabet (Palimpsest Press, 2020). Her poetry, essays, and short fiction have appeared in journals internationally, and been awarded the CBC Poetry Prize, Arc’s Poem of the Year award, and other honours. Her first book of poems, Leaving Howe Island (Oolichan Press) was a finalist for the Governor General’s Award for Literature and the Pat Lowther Memorial Award. Her poems appear in several editions of The Best of Canadian Poetry, in the Montreal Prize Anthology, and in The Next Wave: An Anthology of 21st Century Canadian Poetry.