When I Reach by Eleonore Schönmaier

the tunnel
exit you’ll be
there waiting for
me sitting on a wooden 
crate at the side  

of the tracks
you’ll be holding
a bowl of 
pumpkin soup
you cooked on a camp  

stove by the dust 
blown side of the
journey. my hands
and face will be
dirty and you’ll  

gently touch
my cheek.
you’ll give
me your spoon. 
if you’re not  

there waiting I’ll find
the crate and I’ll sit there
and wait for you, even
when the stars
have been wiped from  

their slate, and the moon
is a stained
white plate cracked 
and crowded
with insects. I’ll  

sit on the half broken
boards where the faded
words once said oranges
and there we’ll meet. I’ll give
you my hands 


Copyright © Eleonore Schönmaier. Originally published in Dust Blown Side of the Journey (McGill-Queen’s University Press, 2017).


Eleonore Schönmaier‘s most recent poetry book is Dust Blown Side of the Journey from McGill-Queen’s University Press. Her other collections are the critically acclaimed Wavelengths of Your Song (2013) and Treading Fast Rivers (1999). Her poetry has won the Alfred G. Bailey Prize, the Earle Birney Prize, and is widely anthologized including publication in Best Canadian Poetry.

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