The street shakes slowly off
in lighting shutting fro and fro
to let my lover stumble on the snow
and gently pick her way up to laugh.
The men in their cleaning cars leave
the lines and ankles bound to brick and work
clean and piled along the edge like towers
going off in spades of flame
so she can walk.
The dapper men cannot talk freely
to wrapped passerby because of the sound of the machines
curling. The knives have tripped,
the very sharp knives have been flicked.
The tracks are followed and made clean
and run upon the cape glove and cape and boot
but do not gape at my washed girl put aside
like walls of cities laid to soot
or idiot children in brick buildings who have died.
St-Lambert, circa 1982.