(In Canada), by Devon Balwit
What if daily life is boring, and I can’t muster
the enthusiasm to power my lung-bellows?
Or if everyone else is dun, and only I remain,
naked before predators? Or what if I am not
(aware) (interesting) (interested), lost in soughing
branches all around, conviviality sweeping past
like a wave, me mud-buried? Or if the font never
changes, either endless capitals or 12-point
Times New Roman, a monotony as fearsome
as heaven? Or the paper is ruled, trapping me
between parallels, or the palette off-putting, as in
the antechamber of an obscure government office?
Or what if, despite all opportunity, I croak the
same questions, the most plaintive night peeper?
This poem was written for the surprise challenge, ekphrastic poetry in response to Canadian art.
Devon Balwit writes in Portland, OR. She has five chapbooks out or forthcoming: How the Blessed Travel (Maverick Duck Press); Forms Most Marvelous (dancing girl press); In Front of the Elements (Grey Borders Books), Where You Were Going Never Was (Grey Borders Books); and The Bow Must Bear the Brunt (Red Flag Poetry). More of her individual poems can be found here as well as in The Cincinnati Review, The Stillwater Review, Red Earth Review, The Inflectionist; Glass: A Journal of Poetry; Noble Gas Quarterly; Muse A/Journal, and more.
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