Cynthia is painter and installation artist. She has been educated at the Alberta College of Art and Design, the University of Saskatchewan and the University of Calgary. She has taught in University and High School. Cynthia started writing poetry three years ago producing one poem every 3 months or so until the suicide of one of her students in 2006 caused the muse to come and live with her permanently. She is addicted to school and if she had more money and about 100 years extra added to her lifespan, she would get degrees in every subject.)
We were sniffing
gelatinous potatoes soiled
by brown gravy and lumpy cheese.
You chose the lunch.
I went along with the fries
from an old fear of ending up dead
and trapped between two slices of bread:
a childhood hunch about the end coming
in a confusion of ground beef, flies,
stale ketchup, mayonnaise and hot sun.
Outside the park,
the mountains were deep cobalt
and away on the horizon the smell of rain.
I wanted desperately to escape towards them
to set myself free by getting drenched
to explore with one naked foot
that emerald terrain.
You asked if I ever
liked to make up stories
about the people I have observed
Yes, my sister and I
had often amused each other
by guessing the future of strangers.
I asked innocently
if you had anyone in your family
that you told such stories to.
You said, “just you”.
Don’t speak to me anymore please
because your words stop time itself
so exquisite so sparse, so very lonely
that I think of my colleagues as ruined for life
because they were marking papers in the parking lot;
leaving me alone to hear your sublime poetry.
Why does your food never get eaten, you notice.
Yeah and when was it then
that you had circled all the tiny
scars on your hand
to tempt the grace of an artist?
The day was spotted
with empty wax cups,
lost buns, puddles of grease
and hard plastic chairs
so intense, so slow, so very yellow,
that a thick fence wreaked by aged and acid water
crossed over us
and did not smother it.