INT. SHARON OLDS POEM—NIGHT
Sharon’s at the window, but you’re further down
the page, waiting for her husband who will return
now but not forever. Sharon’s legs are jelly from
fucking, and she waits for her husband to return
and return, as she believes he always will. In
other poems he has gone to make a sandwich they
will split, or lay a towel on the bed so she
doesn’t have to sleep in the wet spot. His legs
are fine. In other poems she is sucking cock
for the first time, she sees what’s coming and
runs toward it. The window is open wide—isn’t
it? The window shows what is coming, but does not
show all that is coming. It’s just one square of
the view and cannot be expected to show more.
Maybe the husband will keep returning, and it’s
Sharon who will be gone, leaving an empty room
with a window that may or may not be open. Maybe
it’s all right that they have this poem, that
the snow comes for them silently, without
fanfare, no prints or sound of galloping hooves.
They couldn’t see it coming and maybe that’s all
any of us can ask for.
Jennica Harper is a Vancouver poet and TV writer. Her most recent book was WOOD (Anvil Press, 2013), shortlisted for the Dorothy Livesay Prize. A new collection, BOUNCE HOUSE, is forthcoming with Anvil in 2019, with illustrations by Andrea Bennett.
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