Sheryda Warrener: We Bought a Little City

We Bought a Little City

First, we remove the dreadful yellow awnings from the shop-fronts in the square. Brighten the streetlamps. Play our instruments for the dairy cows crowding the fence. We angle for more daylight, fill out the appropriate paperwork. Get down on hands & knees to clean out the ditches. We eat breaded fish for lunch, drink a cold beer, volunteer to play our part. No one complains of their dreams or dread. A mangy dog comes out of the forest covered in mud and stinking of deep time. Belonging to the old owners, he wants nothing to do with us, knows we’ll use him as a bridge: Look, there he goes with a pheasant in his mouth. Late October, the windows display ornamental gourds, tidy piles of leaves. Evening in the forest the eyes and mouths of Jack-O-Lanterns spark. A bark, a souvenir. Way off the earth the moon muscles in, entirely invincible.


Sheryda Warrener lives in Vancouver, where she teaches poetry at the University of British Columbia. Recent publications include The Believer, Riddlefence, and Best Canadian Poetry 2013. Her first collection of poems is Hard Feelings (Invisible Publishing).

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