Secure Your Spot Today by Ben Robinson

Poem title: Secure Your Spot Today
Poet name: Ben Robinson
Poem: The men sipping 
tallboys by the fountain 
wish him a good day but
he is focused on the pigeons, 
on the condos, on the
trucks that build them. 
He waves to the workers 
from his Bobcat!
the union constructing luxury 
Crane! flying yellow
banners over a hole 
they will Forklift! 
with thirty storeys 
of tempered glass.

Is this witnessing 
or just watching?
Twin excavators idle in 
an otherwise empty lot. 
His arms extend,
bend in on themselves 
swinging gleeful.
My son, on the side of 
the wrecking ball
and I cannot explain 
the pair are parked here
to move the last tenant along 
from the apartments above 
the shuttered antique shop.

Upwind of the former 
lumberyard, he grins
as a power shovel shears 
a steel girder in two.
Sixty-three units on the way 
clad with corrugated metal 
and brick (but not lumber)
to reference the site’s industrial past.
A man in a Raptors crewneck 
explains the silo in the back 
once brimmed with sawdust – 
the cleaners leaving each night 
coated like battered meat.
A fan sprays mist over the rubble 
to keep the particulate down.
His spotless teeth 
halve baby carrots 
the whole way home.
End of poem.
Credits and bio: Copyright © Ben Robinson
Previously published in Grain (50.2 - Winter 2023).
Ben Robinson is a poet, musician and librarian. His most recent publication is Without Form from The Blasted Tree and knife | fork | book. The Book of Benjamin is forthcoming from Palimpsest Press in the fall of 2023. He has only ever lived in Hamilton, Ontario on the traditional territories of the Erie, Neutral, Huron-Wendat, Haudenosaunee and Mississaugas. You can find him online at