Who has nailed summer to its autumn cross? Sunbeams dazzle in the wind, footsteps follow, or is it a shadow’s shadow flickering its year’s end dance on a twisting path? Beneath our feet the painted leaves lie still. Bottled sunshine abandoned now in rusted flakes, who will replace them in the tree’s discarded puzzle? Footsteps crackle along the trail and, as they draw closer, our cold breath hangs a question mark on the air before us. Yesterday, the salmon danced on their tails. Lettuces went to seed and built tall pyramids up to the sky in a world all yellow with the sun and blue with the sea. Primrose and bleu céleste, this stretch of Fundy, where the islands are large black beads, threaded together by tiny strings of ducks and geese. Today, going home, a bull moose thrust his head through the windshield of a speeding car. For an instant the trees caught their breath, the air stood still and a red fox tore from the trees like a runaway leaf, so quick, so silent, a shadow across the road melting into dark woods to lie silent in the forest. I can still see the occupants of the shattered car standing by the roadside, their cell phones in their hands, punching urgent numbers. Shock had rounded their snow white lips into an O for Operator.
Very surprised (and pleased and proud) to hear this prose poem from my book Fundy Lines read on Shift, CBC, this afternoon. Here it is in a more permanent form — the written word. Thank you Shift CBC and best wishes to all.